Just after being announced as this year's Gold Glove winner for defensive excellence among National League pitchers -- an award that is determined by balloting among managers and coaches around each league -- Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw expressed relief that the uncertainty surrounding Frank McCourt's ownership of the club appeared to be on the verge of being resolved.
Still, Kershaw was careful to qualify his remarks by saying his relief stemmed from the apparently impending resolution to the issue, and that he didn't intend to say he specifically was relieved by the fact McCourt might sell the team.
"I guess the news came out that they are close to a deal," said Kershaw, the Dodgers' players-union representative. "That is positive. Whatever happens, it will definitely be good to have it all resolved. It is positive just to have resolution. To get it all past us is the most important thing."
Kershaw said that despite being the team's player rep, he wasn't privy to any information surrounding the McCourt situation and the team's on-going bankruptcy other than what he has read and heard in various media reports. Later Tuesday, McCourt and MLB announced they'd reached an agreement for McCourt to sell the team.
Kershaw, who probably is the favorite to bring home the NL Cy Young Award later this month, was one of three Dodgers players to win Gold Gloves at their respective positions. The others were center fielder Matt Kemp and right fielder Andre Ethier. Kershaw and Ethier were first-time winners, with Kemp having won a Gold Glove in 2009.
Kershaw, Kemp and Ethier also were the Dodgers' representatives at this year's All-Star Game in July.
"It's special," Kershaw said. "It is something I never expected to win, so just to hear my name called was a surprise. You see so many other guys making unbelievable plays, and we even have another (pitcher) on our team in (Hiroki) Kuroda, who won a Gold Glove in Japan. I never watch myself play or pick guys off or whatever, so I don't know what other people see. I just watch other guys and expect (them) to win it, I guess."
Kershaw said he was "anxious" to learn the results of the Cy Young balloting, which is done by a select group of Baseball Writers Association of America members, but that he isn't worried about it because with the Dodgers season having been over for more than a month now, there isn't anything else he can do to state his case.
Ethier won the Gold Glove despite missing the final three weeks of the season following right-knee surgery -- both Ethier and newly hired Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone, who has been working closely with Ethier in Phoenix, said the rehabilitation process is going well.
Ethier credited a rules change in this year's Gold Glove process for allowing him to win it. In previous years, Gold Gloves were given to three outfielders in each league without regard to which of the three outfield positions they played, a situation that often led to the awards being heavily weighted toward center fielders.
"I'm in a little bit of shock,'' Ethier said. "Without that rule change, I don't think I would have had a chance, and I guess rightfully so with so many deserving outfielders and deserving center fielders out there.''
Ethier, a former Silver Slugger award winner as the best hitter at his position, said the award was especially sweet because he has always been considered an offensive player and has received little recognition for his defensive skills, which he said have improved in recent years as he has learned to get better jumps and take better routes in pursuit of fly balls.
"Everyone always told me I could hit, but no one ever said I was a good defender,'' Ethier said. "I always felt like I was going out there and making plays like anyone else did at my position and maybe even more. I have gone out there and tried to get better and feel like I have done that a lot the last couple of years.''
Kemp wasn't available to the media following the Gold Glove announcement.
Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.