Los Angeles Dodgers

Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw Hopes MLB Season Begins at Dodger Stadium

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw spoke with Mario Lopez of NBC's "Access Hollywood" about the return of baseball and what he's been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Clayton Kershaw misses baseball.

The three-time National Cy Young Award winner has played the entirety of his 12-year Major League career in Los Angeles, and he's hoping that once baseball returns, it will be at Dodger Stadium.

Kershaw spoke to NBC's Access Hollywood on a video conference call with diehard Dodger fan Mario Lopez and his infant son, Santino, last week and reiterated his excitement to start the season.

"I'm fortunate I have a little gym here I can get some stuff done, and we've got a little space here in the backyard. I think I'm doing a decent job of staying in shape and hopefully we have a couple weeks leading into the season," said Kershaw. "It's exciting. It sounds like things are turning in the right direction as far as having a season. I'm preparing like we're going to start playing in the next month to six weeks or so."

Kershaw told Lopez how he's been spending his time during the COVID-19 pandemic by playing "camp counselor" to his three children, Cali Ann (5), Charley (3), and Cooper (four months).

"I miss baseball and I want to get back to it, but there are some blessings to get be home right now for sure," said Kershaw about being around his kids 24/7 when normally he would be three months into the baseball season and travelling all the time.

"You get an insight into what your kids are like in school," added Kershaw's wife Ellen. "Cali is learning to read right now, and to see those light bulbs click for her is so incredible."

Kershaw's oldest daughter would need to learn to read quickly if she wants to be able to read to her dad after his first start of the season. As of Monday, Major League Baseball is in negotiations with the MLB Player's Association on a proposed 82-game schedule that would begin in early July.

The two sides are still currently working out the details such as revenue sharing, the healthy and safety of the players during the coronavirus crisis, realigned divisions, rule changes (like a universal DH), and where the games would be played.

Kershaw mentioned in his interview with Lopez, that he heard things were turning in the right direction in the talks, and his hope would be to play all home games at Dodger Stadium.

"I'm hoping to play," said Kershaw on where he stands on the talks. "I don't know what that's going to look like, but I'm hoping we can play at Dodger Stadium. I miss that. I miss all of that."

Kershaw might get his wish to toe the rubber at Chavez Ravine again this year when California Governor Gavin Newsom announced in a press conference on Monday afternoon, that sports could return "the first week or so of June without spectators and modifications and very prescriptive conditions." Newsom added that the state would need to continue to make progress against COVID-19 in the coming weeks for professional sports to return.

Newsom's announcement gives the green light to MLB and the Dodgers to begin the preparations and safety protocols necessary to play home games at Dodger Stadium without fans, similar to how games are currently being played in South Korea.

"Adrenaline is huge. The more fans in the stadium there's a little bit more nerves and a little bit more adrenaline," said Kershaw when asked what he thought it would be like to pitch without spectators. "I'm not throwing 95MPH anymore, so I need that adrenaline to get the velocity up."

Kershaw and the Dodgers were the preseason favorites to win their eighth consecutive NL West division title in 2020, and were the early favorites to represent the NL in the World Series after adding former Cy Young Award winner David Price and 2018 AL MVP Mookie Betts in a trade in February.

The full video of Clayton and Ellen Kershaw's interview with Mario Lopez can be viewed below:

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