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Yu Darvish to be posted?

by on Sep.28, 2010 @ 12:51 pm, under NPB

According to a report filed by Sanspo, Yu Darvish will apparently be posted during the off-season.  It seems Darvish has already spoken to the Nippon Ham Fighters and the club is on board with the decision (they have always stated they would be supportive of Darvish).

While clubs probably won't spend as much as they did for Daisuke Matsuzaka, some are estimating it could cost a club upwards of 3B yen to talk to Darvish (about half the amount Boston paid in order to talk to Matsuzaka).

Incidentally, the Sanspo article mentions that there are about 8 clubs interested in Darvish, including the Rangers, Yankees, Mets, and Braves.

It should be noted that none of this was actually confirmed directly by Darvish and that all of it is based on third party information.  Darvish has gone on record a number of times to say that he won't say anything about the off-season until the 2010 season ends.

15 comments on “Yu Darvish to be posted?

  1. Jim

    Stuff like this drives me up the wall. Ever since Matsuzaka was posted and signed by the Red Sox, this is all I’ve heard from people when I tell them that I follow Pro Yakyu. That’s the only question they have is, “When will Darvish be posted?” I’m sick of it, quite frankly.

    I know you’re just doing your job as a reporter, Gen-san, and I probably would report the same thing, but this rumor has been buzzing around like the fly you think you’ve killed tons of times with a newspaper, only for it to come right back again.

    1. Gen Post author

      I hear you Jim.

      Or maybe I don’t. But I’ll try to explain my stance a little more…

      I think it’s especially frustrating for people that have a lot of love for the NPB and see that there’s more to this game than players like Darvish and rumors about when he’s heading to the US.

      I think part of the problem is that most people outside of Japan just aren’t as exposed to Pro Yakyu enough to understand just how wonderful a game it is. There’s also all the hype that the media creates (and I guess this includes me now) with players like Darvish that probably gets even the most casual of baseball fans in the US interested.

      If what I say isn’t what you were driving at, feel free to throw in your 2 cents.

  2. Jim

    You do make a good point about the media over-hyping these pitchers. Here in Boston, everybody thought that Matsuzaka was going to be this unstoppable dynamo of a pitcher, winning 20 games a year and posting an ERA in the low 2’s. Of course, he’s done nothing like that, except for 2008 when he went 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA (but he also walked a ton of guys and was hurt that year).

    And of course, the notoriously overbearing Boston media had a hand in that as well. I think the New York media also had a hand in as to why Kei Igawa has been such a disappointment for the Yankees.

    As for what Darvish and Nippon Ham management say, I guess we’ll have to wait until after the season’s over, which will be sooner or later, depending on how Lotte does in their last few games.

    1. Gen Post author

      IMHO, I just don’t see Japanese pitchers having long, successful careers as starters in the MLB. At least not with the way things are currently set up.

      There also a problem with philosophies: people in Japan don’t necessarily feel that throwing a lot will damage an arm. They instead think more throwing will create a stronger throwing arm, which will therefore lead to fewer injuries (especially if using the right mechanics). And it doesn’t seem like there’s really a concept of “limited mileage” on arms.

      And then of course you have the US where every young pitcher that comes up through the various systems has pitch counts and limits.

      It’s really the extremes on both end.

      But I digress. My point here was simply to say that if you go with the MLB philosophy of pitching, Matsuzaka has A LOT of mileage on his arm. Looking at it from the Japanese philosophy of pitching, Matsuzaka hasn’t thrown enough on the side since heading to the US and that’s the cause of his under-performance (after all, Matsuzaka is a pitcher that tends to do better when he’s a little tired).

      Personally, without any scientific information to back me, I’m going to guess that the reality is somewhere in between.

  3. Tim

    Hi Gen and Jim,

    It might be a silly question, but you guys watch both NPB and MLB, what keeps you watching Jap baseball since MLB is consider to be the best baseball league in the world? And the truth is only top Japanese player could survive in America while some average batters from the US could be so successful here in Japan.
    I am also watching both (mainly NPB, I would say) but new to baseball…

    1. Gen Post author

      I find the MLB a bit boring now. That may just be me though. I also tend to think Pacific League games are a lot more exciting than Central League games, simply because of all the really great arms in the PL.

      And it really isn’t about the levels of the two leagues. Obviously, the two leagues don’t exactly exist in a vacuum, but since they also don’t really face each other regularly, the levels aren’t apparent until you start to compare. That is to say, the MLB is the MLB and the NPB is the NPB.

      In addition, there is a difference between a league not being as good as another league, and a league that’s just flat out bad. In the case of the NPB, the former might be true, but that latter most certainly isn’t.

    2. EJH

      Gen: Very well said. The “better” league is no necessarily the more interesting one. Also, I think Tim might want to see if he can find a new phrase to replace “Jap baseball”.

    3. Steve

      I’m not sure what the point of comparing NPB and MLB is. As an unabashed NPB fan, I really don’t like all of the “will he or won’t he?” posting talk for various players. Obvious as it sounds, NPB =/= MLB’s Japan arm, or a minor league.

      The experience is different, the style of play is different. Both leagues have their maddening idiosyncrasies (MLB and their rigid pitch counts as if it’s a science, NPB’s love of the bunt even though every statistic says it’s bad baseball), both have their strengths (MLB’s melting pot of the world’s diverse talent, NPB’s passion and season long chess match between teams that know each other as well as they know their own team).

      Do Bundesliga fans get existential crises because their league “isn’t as good” as La Liga, or EPL? I doubt it. In the end your a fan of the players, the style of play, and the experience – whether or not your league is the “best in the world” seems to be the most minor of factors in fandom.

      And yeah, be careful of that “Jap baseball” phrasing – it’s a strong slur in many people’s eyes.

    4. Tim

      OK. It was me started the subject of NPB and MLB, but I didn’t want to compare 2 leagues.
      I just started watching NPB few years ago and quite into it. At the same time I also viewed some MLB matches ’cause American media and a lot of people really looked down NPB (and still, probably). But I didn’t like the Major leauge that much. It’s kind of boring for me. But, since I am new to baseball and haven’t talked to anyone watching both NPB and MLB, I am not quite sure if it is weird that I prefer NPB to MLB. So, just wanted to ask the old “yakyubakas” here to know if someone else shares the opinion. May be my question wasn’t clear but that’s it!
      About “Jap baseball”, I didn’t mean anything. But well, I won’t say it again.

    5. Gen Post author

      Don’t worry about it Tim. I think it’s entirely normal for people that are first getting into baseball to make queries about the differences / similarities between the two leagues. I also don’t think Steve was really singling you out, but talking about people in general that like to spend a lot of time trying to qualify one league or the other by making comparisons.

      I could be wrong, but I think what Steve was just trying to say is that people should simply enjoy each league for what they are. The rest is all just relative.

      As for the “Jap baseball” comment: Jap isn’t a very good word. If you click on the link, you’ll see why. From personal experience, I’ve actually come across A LOT of people that just don’t know the history behind the word and I get the sense you didn’t either. For future reference, if you want to shorten the word “Japanese,” it might be best to use something like JPN or JP.

    6. Steve

      Tim, Gen is right; I wasn’t singling you out, and I was absolutely (and inelegantly) trying to make the point that one needs to love each league (or not love each league) on its own merits!

      It seems in MLB circles that many writers like to dismiss NPB with “It’s not that good, somewhere between AAA and MLB”. I see similar criticism on some of the message boards for foreigners in Japan like Gaijin Pot or Japan Today. It’s perfectly OK to like one league and not the other, but why do some feel the need to run down the one they don’t like?

    7. Deanna

      I don’t know about anyone else, but I vastly prefer NPB to MLB just because the fan experience in the NPB is so many bazillion times better than it is in the MLB that the two can’t even compare in that sense. If you only watch baseball games on TV and don’t really go to games, then it might be somewhat mysterious why anyone would prefer the NPB, but in all my years of going to MLB games, I never had anywhere near as good a time as I’ve had in the last several years travelling all over the country and going to over 100 games a year in Japan and getting to know the fans here.

  4. Joan

    Something similar happens in Europe with basketball, there’s always talk about players moving to the NBA. Just like with baseball, not all players who are viewed as top-stuff here get to shine there and many of them end up returning because they don’t like how they’re treated or how the game is played there. I think that as in NPB/MLB baseball, the main difference is that while the “less powerful” one tries to be more technical (Europe, NPB), the “most powerful” one tries to be flashy all the way (NBA, MLB), that’s why I began loving baseball by watching NPB games, sure a HR here and there is always welcome, but it’s the hits, bunts, pitchers who get to pitch a lot and so on that make this game so great for me.

    I’m fairly new to the baseball world,it’s been roughly 5 years since I started getting into it but that’s my point of view from the old continent. Your blog has helped me a lot in understanding this beautiful game.

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