Yu Darvish was greeted by about 200 fans at Dallas/Fort-Worth International Airport on Friday. His press conference at Rangers Ballpark at 7pm CST (1/20) attracted eight TV cameras and around 200 reporters from the US and Japan. The Star-Telegram's Jeff Wilson has posted a video from the press conference.
Darvish did not speak any English during the press conference. When asked by a reporter if he knew any English, he replied, "I can understand it fine, but in speaking I have a hard time coming up with the words. I think I will be able to speak in one to two months."
What do you think of when you think of Texas?
Is 400-game winner Masaichi Kaneda still alive?
He is very healthy.
On pitching on fewer days of rest...
During the last half of the 2011 season, I had a few starts where I pitched on five days of rest. And I was able to throw about 120 pitches on five days of rest. I do not think I will have any problems.
On pitching outdoors...
It seems like people see me as pitching well indoors, but over the last three years, I liked pitching outdoors more. I find it easier pitching outdoors.
Nikkan Sports is carrying the following comments from the press conference:
What pushed you to sign with the Rangers?
I came here at the start of January and had a chance to meet the GM and other members of the organization. They all treated me like family and that was a big deal for me.
All eyes will be on you.
I am still that baseball loving kid that was born and raised in Habikino, Osaka. I still feel a little surprised at all the attention.
What about the differences in the environment?
I think I will be able to handle the differences in the ball. I am a little concerned about the size of the stadium. I asked them in January if they could push make the bullpens out in right-center a little smaller and push the fences back, but I do not know if they will do it.
Did you get any advice from other players like Ichiro?
No, but I do think I have to try to become an American. I have to be careful about becoming sensitive about my private life, like I was in Japan.
What would you like to accomplish?
My fastball really is not as fast as everyone thinks. But I do have a number of off-speed pitches so I think I will alright.
What about the pressure and your goals?
All I can do is do my best. The most important thing is staying healthy and playing out a full season. Regarding the pressure, maybe it has something to do with not being very bright, but I think I can enjoy myself without worrying about it.
What about concerns and things you look forward to?
I do not have any concerns. And I look forward to playing with great hitters and pitchers.
On the number eleven.
I wore the number for seven years. I am not that attached to it, but the team gave it to me.
UPDATE @ 5:16pm - Darvish will be holding his press conference in Japan on January 24 at Sapporo Dome. At his request, a stage will be set next to the mound and the seats on the third base side will be opened to fans for free.