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San Francisco Giants: Would you rather have Clayton Kershaw or Madison Bumgarner?

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Oct 29, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner (right) celebrates with catcher Buster Posey after defeating the Kansas City Royals during game seven of the 2014 World Series at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Postseason:

This is how sports writers and baseball analysts define players. This is what separates the good from the great, the individual achievers from the legends. I am no different in the sense that winning championships is what it is all about. Although players can own some of the greatest records and individual achievements, the true competitors would trade that in for a World Series ring any day of the week.

Hypothetically, I truly believe that if Hall of Fame Buffalo Bills quarterback Jim Kelly, who lost four Super Bowls in his career, had the opportunity to switch careers with the not as talented or successful Trent Dilfer, it might be a tough choice. Perhaps he wouldn’t switch, but he may think twice about it. Why? It’s simple: Dilfer has a ring.

Just take a look at the postseason numbers between Kershaw and Bumgarner.

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  • Kershaw’s Career Postseason Stats:

    Record: 1-5

    ERA: 5.12

    Innings Pitched: 51

    Walks: 18

    Strikeouts: 58

    Complete Games: 0

    Shutouts: 0

    NL West Championships: 4

    NL Divisional Championships: 3

    National League Championships: 0

    World Series Championships: 0

    Bumgarner’s Career Postseason Stats:

    Record: 7-3

    ERA: 2.15

    Innings Pitched: 88 1/3

    Walks: 15

    Strikeouts: 77

    Complete Games: 2

    Shutouts: 2

    NL West Championships: 3

    NL Divisional Championships: 3

    National League Championships: 3

    World Series Championships: 3

    At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you do as long as you execute, as long as you win, and, most importantly, as long as you win championships. As Babe Ruth’s character in The Sandlot once said, “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Postseason success is what turns heroes into legends. That’s wonderful that you are a great regular season player and accumulated dozens of individual awards. How many rings do you have? What legacy will you leave when you retire?

    Although Kershaw still has time, Madison Bumgarner would leave a greater legacy if they both retired today.

    September heroes last until the postseason.

    October heroes last an eternity.

    Round 7: Bumgarner KO

    Next: Results

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