Sunday, April 08, 2007

Darvish Watch 2007

Since we're between starts, I thought I'd take a second to plug one of my other projects, Darvish Watch. Some of you may have visited the Darvish Watch blog already, but in case you haven't it's a project exactly the same as Matsuzaka Watch dedicated to the 20-year old ace of the Nippon Ham Fighters, and perhaps the heir apparent to Daisuke as Japan's ace.

He's got a ways to go before he can be discussed in the same breath as Daisuke, but he did lead the Fighters to their first championship last season and subsequently led the same club to the championship at the Asia Games. His manager, Trey Hillman, recently said that he believes Darvish will be a better pitcher than Fenway's new monster. That may or may not be true, but he will be one of the best pitchers in the world sometime down the road. It's not clear whether he'll ever play in the Major Leagues. Part of me believes he won't, as he's quite comfortable in Japan, but he's already on his way to accomplishing everything possible in the NPB while still in his early 20's. All that remains really is a Sawamura Award. If he manages to secure that honor over the next year or two, you may hear rumblings about a posting. Just stay tuned.

More to come here in the next day or two. Come back to read the preview of the Matsuzaka vs. Ichiro matchup scheduled for later in the week.


At 5:42 AM, Blogger Dorasaga said...

Please correct me if this is wrong:

Yu's dad is from Iran. Darvish-dad met Darvish-mom in USA when they were attending college. They didn't return Iran because of civil war, and settled down in Japan.

Knowing the problem between America and Iran right now, I doubt Yu's parents will be happy if their son goes their. In Japan, sportspeople are disciplined enough that taking care of and following advice from their parents, wife/husband and her/his family on the player's career choice is essential.

At 8:21 AM, Blogger j said...

Mike- can you comment on this:
Has anyone ever been to Seibu's home stadium?
I heard on the radio this weekend that it's not really a dome, instead more along the lines of Minutemaid or Safeco, a stadium with roof over the top, so it's not like he's been pitching in the controlled atmosphere of the Metrodome.
Also, I heard that coincidentally Seibu's stadium design was based on Kaufmann stadium.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger Mike Plugh said...


I don't know the story behind the Darvishes marriage beyond the fact they met in the US. It's possible that Mr. Darvish fled from civil war, but I know for a fact that he's been back and he's been active with the soccer clubs there in recent years.

One thing that I think is important to note about the Iranian diaspora is that they generally have no love for the fundamentalists that control the current government. I am very close to some Iranian expats here in Japan and they are very open minded about their home country and the US. Both countries have serious issues with conservative, fundamentalist elements that are generating ill-will in the international community. I have never heard anything remotely indicative of Yu Darvish's anti-American sensibilities. He either wants to stay in Japan to pitch because he loves his home country and the brand of baseball that's played here, or the idea of uprooting himself from his family and loved ones is not attractive.

He's only 20 years old, so it's impossible to predict which way the wind will blow in 5, 6, 7 years. Last thing on this. If Mr. Darvish doesn't like the US, why did he choose to go there in the first place. Many Iranians fled to the United Kingdom. I doubt your analysis of the situation is completely accurate.


I've never been to the Seibu Dome. I've only seen it on TV and I'm not sure if it's partially open. I was always under the impression it was fully covered. I'll look into it.

At 4:54 PM, Blogger John said...

Seibu dome is indeed a stadium with roof on top. It is not a closed dome.
You can go to seibu's official website to check it out; they have a 360 degree tour

At 7:35 PM, Blogger Dorasaga said...

Mike, good analysis. You sound more like a syndicated reporter than ever, showing your blade of keyboard. Knowing that your conclusion might be closer to truth, I am really interested at where will Yu's future go.

Didn't Yu decided to drop his Iranian citizenship and hold to his Japanese citizenship in order to play for Team Japan in Olympics 2008? He loves Japan and Japanese baseball, for sure. But since his elders' suggestion will greatly influence him, if his parents like the idea that Yu goes to MLB, then I can see that he will go.


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