The Dodgers' 28-year-old ace and three-time Cy Young Award winner doesn't let a little crosstown rivalry get in the way of being nice to opposing fans, even if they hit him from behind.
DAN PATRICK:I saw a picture [of your car accident on March 22] and realized that those were Angels fans who got into the fender bender with you.
CLAYTON KERSHAW: Yes [laughs]. They were quick to point that out, so that made the wreck even better.
DP:They rear-ended you. How do you end up taking a picture with them?
CK: Wrecks are scary. We were able to get the cars out of the way and then made sure everybody was O.K. The cars were beat up a little bit, but it's not the end of the world.
DP:And then of course you take a selfie.
CK: [Laughs] Well, yeah, that wasn't my idea obviously. But it was cool. I said, "O.K. I can do that."
DP:How do you feel about computers calling balls and strikes instead of umpires?
CK: I guess you'd have to define the strike zone a little bit better. Side to side, the home plate is the strike zone, but up and down? Is it really the letters to the knees? A lot of hoops to jump through there. I don't see that happening any time soon.
DP:So you'd vote to keep the current system?
CK: I would go with the current system. I like having a human back there calling balls and strikes. If you polled hitters, they'd go toward the computerized system. They get a little more upset about the strike zone than pitchers do.
DP:How many times have you been tossed from a game?
CK: I think three times, but one was from the dugout.
DP:What happened the two times on the mound?
CK: Both of those were when a pitch accidentally got away from me and hit a batter, and the umpires ruled I did it on purpose. I don't think I've ever been tossed for arguing balls and strikes.
DP:So one of the greatest control pitchers in baseball history accidentally hits a guy?
CK: It happens. It gets a little wet in L.A. at night, you know, with the moisture.
DP:Did you get a chance to say good-bye to [former Dodgers manager] Don Mattingly?
CK: I texted Donnie. We miss him. I love him to death. I hope we beat him pretty good when we play Miami though. But it's a different atmosphere over here now. A whole new coaching staff. I felt like we needed name tags in the preseason.
DP:Did you send a note to your high school buddy [Lions QB] Matthew Stafford when Calvin Johnson retired?
CK: No, I haven't yet.
DP:What kind of friend are you? He lost Megatron.
CK: I know. I'm bad. But can you believe he retired? I can't believe that. Football is tough. It's just a beatdown, every Sunday.
Kentucky coach John Calipari thinks that if his team had gone further than the second round of the NCAA tournament, at least one of his players would have shot up the NBA draft board: "I really believe [freshman guard] Jamal Murray would have moved into the conversation for the No. 1 pick," Calipari said. "He would have had a 30-point night, and everybody would have said, 'He's the next Steph Curry.'" ... Sports-talk radio host Mike Francesa lamented the current state of his profession. "No one blazes a path anymore," Francesa said. "Everybody does the same thing, but who wants to listen to a cookie-cutter?" ... I asked Hall of Fame center Ralph Sampson if he ever regretted being 7'4". "No, but you can't hide that height. Everyone says, 'You must have played basketball. Were you in the NBA?' or 'How's the weather up there?'"
MICHAEL J. LEBRECHT II FOR SPORTS ILLUSTRATED (PATRICK)
JIM MCISAAC/GETTY IMAGES (KERSHAW)
ASTRID STAWIARZ/GETTY IMAGES (CALIPARI)
JAMES DEVANEY/WIREIMAGE (FRANCESA)
ARAYA DIAZ/WIREIMAGE (SAMPSON)