Business as usual for 'kangaroo' Kershaw Down Under

Thu Mar 20, 2014 5:35am EDT
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By Nick Mulvenney

SYDNEY (Reuters) - Clayton Kershaw is 7,500 miles from Dodger Stadium preparing to play on a converted cricket ground in front of a sell-out crowd of Australians but for baseball's first $200 million pitcher, opening day is just opening day.

Kershaw has been named starting pitcher for Saturday's game at the Sydney Cricket Ground between his Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks which will start a major league season he hopes will end with a World Series ring.

Having signed a seven-year deal with the Dodgers in January worth a reported $215 million, the three-times All Star has become the face of the two-game series Down Under. For him, though, it has been pretty much business as usual.

"For us there's not been much build-up, opening day is opening day," he told reporters on Thursday.

"Obviously the anticipation of that is always fun and getting to be part of it here is pretty cool, it'll probably never happen here in Australia again.

"But as far as any added stuff, it's not really that different."

Kershaw was not prepared to comment on reports that the Dodgers considered not bringing him to Australia but said now he had made the trip, he was glad he would be starting.

"It's just being in Arizona for an extra week, pitching in minor league games, I guess you do technically get your work in, but there's not the adrenaline, it's just not the same intensity," he said.   Continued...

Feb 26, 2014; Salt River Pima-Maricopa, AZ, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (22) throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports - RTR3FR76