SAN DIEGO, CA: Hiroki Kuroda #18 of the Los Angeles Dodgers looks up at the scoreboard as he walks off the field in the seventh inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park in San Diego, California. The Dodgers won 1-0. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
Is that unfair?
Probably. I'll bet he's really good at crossword puzzles. And the Jumble.
How about this headline, instead: Larry Bowa's a Blowhard.
I think it's tough to quibble with that one. If there were a Blowharding Championship, Larry Bowa would win it. Actually, he might win by default because nobody else would bother to compete. Well, except for Rob Dibble. Dibble might quibble. But in the Senior Division, nobody's beating Larry Bowa.
Hiroki Kuroda declined to waive his no-trade clause. This was the source of much speculation over the weeks preceding the trade deadline; we speculated, you speculated, and Larry Bowa really speculated.
Now, Kuroda has discussed the question at length and Dylan Hernandez has written a fine piece about it. My favorite part:
Kuroda said his decision was based on a previous decision, which was to re-sign with the Dodgers over the winter. That decision, in turn, was based on one before that, which was to sign with the Dodgers before the 2008 season.
From then on, he said his goal was to win a World Series with the Dodgers. And even if that goal is becoming increasingly remote with each passing day, he said he can't get himself to change course.
"I wanted that feeling to remain important to me," Kuroda said. "I think your self-identity is defined by certain decisions you make. If you go back on them, you lose a sense of who you are."
Kuroda said he heard that Larry Bowa, the Dodgers' former third base coach, said on MLB Network that any player who refused to be traded from a noncontender to a contender should have his mental makeup questioned. (Bowa said in a telephone interview Thursday that his comments were directed at U.S.-born players, adding that he is aware Kuroda has different values.)
Memo to Larry Bowa: Stop trying to read players' minds, and stop making value judgments. Your managerial stints suggest that you're not good at the former, and I'm pretty sure you don't have the training for the latter.
An Hiroki Kuroda Fan