When Yu Darvish signed with Texas, the joke was that there would be 130 Japanese reporters making the trip to Surprise, that six or eight or a couple dozen of them would travel with the team during the regular season, that they’d be expected to file stories on Darvish every day in spite of his once-every-five-days work schedule, and that none of the above was a joke.
How crazy is it to expect five stories in five days all year from the Japanese beats?
“How do you feel you will pitch tomorrow?”
“Now that you’ve slept on it, how else do you feel you pitched yesterday?”
“How did your side work go?”
“Remember that 2006 Japan Series? That was awesome.”
“How would you guess Yoshi’s side work will go?”
“Peyton Manning: Discuss.”
Seems we now have a glimpse at how the media may stretch out a story to get from one Darvish start to the next.
On Wednesday, moments before Darvish’s second-inning defensive gem, when he snared a James Darnell chopper and cut Will Venable down trying to score from third, Venable hit a Darvish fastball on the screws, indenting the center field wall in Peoria 410 feet away and nearly 30 feet up, and loped into second for an easy double that in most parks would have been a majestic home run.
Darvish apparently said after the game, as translated: “The wind helped that one. I don’t think he really squared it up.”
Hey there, Will. Thoughts? “I squared it up pretty good – he was lucky it didn’t go out. . . . Maybe his perception of reality [in the big leagues] isn’t right yet. But otherwise, I’ve got no comment.”
How about now, Will, away from the clubhouse and now that you’re doing a one-on-one on the radio? “I don’t know, maybe something was lost in the translation. But I would like to hear a little more humility out of the guy. To each his own, I guess. He’s a confident guy. And, of course, I didn’t square up the ball because he’s Yu Darvish.”
Late last night, based on a conversation with Darvish’s agent Don Nomura, Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports) reported that Darvish apparently meant to say: “I didn’t think he hit it that far, but he sure has lots of power.”
Bilingual American journalist Brad Lefton interpreted an explanatory tweet from Darvish to say: “I didn’t think he got good wood on it, but it carried further than I thought it would. He’s a strong guy.”
And I had a couple Newberg Report readers take a look at something Nomura passed along in Japanese, regarding what Darvish said.
Rusty Lerner translated it this way: “I want to tell you that the comments made about the player Venable who yesterday hit a direct line drive to the fence, saying that ‘He did not have the ball,’ those words in America take on a different significance. I meant something more like, ‘I thought I did not have the ball, but in fact it took off more than I thought it would. The swing had real power.’ . . . I am happy that someone passed on the message.”
Kazuto Yamazaki’s take: “My comment yesterday on Venable was taken wrong in U.S. I meant, ‘I didn’t think he hit it that far but he has lots of power.’ Can someone please tell him?”
There are 130 reporters in Surprise who just might head to Tempe today or Goodyear tomorrow to track Venable down and do exactly that.
Might be good for a story in Japan, pushing back for another day Darvish’s thoughts on the Jairo Beras imbroglio or what video package should be shown in the Ballpark when Robin Ventura’s White Sox visit to open the season or why the Mavs have so much trouble freeing Dirk up for a final shot.