Sanspo is carrying comments from Yu Darvish's press conference last night. My translation:
What are your thoughts on being the highest paid Japanese player in the NPB?
I'm happy that they thought so highly of me. Other than that, I'm not really feeling anything else. My job is still the same.
What are your thoughts on winning first in the PL and taking back the Nippon Series trophy?
We were short one loss last year and ended up finishing in 4th. I think we were all disappointed / frustrated with that result. For me, I want to work hard to throw more innings in order to take the pressure off the bullpen and help the team win.
What are you doing in preparation for the new season?
I'll start moving into the real practices, like running and playing catch. I think I'm making good progress so far. I was also able to bulk up a bit. And I'm hopeful that will not only translate into a better fastball, but also better quality off-speed pitches.
What are you thoughts on being able to pitch against Hisashi Iwakuma again this season?
This is going to be a good year. I don't know about the schedules, but I think it would be nice to pitch against him.
And another set of comments were posted by Sanspo today:
Your thoughts now that your contract is set.
It feels good to have it all finished.
Why did you get rid of the incentives?
I just thought it might be nicer to have a larger base salary.
Did the ask for anything?
I've been saying this since 5 years ago, but the showers at Sapporo Dome can get really hot. I asked them if they could change that, but they said there was nothing they could do.
Your thoughts on [Hideaki] Wakui turning down offers 3 times?
That has nothing to do with the Fighters so I can't really comment. But if I were him, I'd keep going until I was satisfied.
How are you feeling lately?
I'm feeling great. And I managed to get bigger. My goal is to throw the ball with more power.
Your goals for the year?
I don't have any statistical goal, I just want want to be able to toss as many innings as possible once a week and take the pressure off the bullpen. Other than that, I want to read more [books] and watch more movies.
According to Sponichi, Darvish was under a 3-year contract worth 800M yen (plus incentives) through to last season. And the reason why he got such a large raise this time around (170M yen raise to be exact) was because they dropped the incentive clause.
The Fighters wanted to sign Darvish to an incentive based contract, but Darvish didn't and the rest is history.
And when Darvish was asked about the Majors, he replied, "No comment."
At 24 years of age, Darvish broke Ichiro's record for quickest to 500M yen by a year.
Progression of Darvish's salary over the years:
|2005||5-5, 3.53 ERA, 52 SO||15M yen|
|2006||12-5, 2.89 ERA, 115 SO||30M yen|
|2007||15-5, 1.82 ERA, 210 SO||72M yen|
|2008||16-4, 1.88 ERA, 208 SO||200M yen|
|2009||15-5, 1.73 ERA, 167 SO||270M yen|
|2010||12-8, 1.78 ERA, 222 SO||330M yen|