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New Ranger

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Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, second from right, walks past a group of Japanese media after a spring training baseball workout in Surprise, Arizona, on Tuesday. His interpreter Joe Furukawa is at right.

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Who is Joe Furukawa and how much is he getting paid?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm going to say he goes 15-9 this year. Darvish looks like a better fir in the Majors than other recent Japanese imports.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I'm going to say he goes 15-9 this year.

i shall be happy if he goes 9-15 and doesn't appear in Disabled List (frequently).

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I was talking to a Japanese university student the other day, apparently a huge baseball fan. I mentioned how excited people are that Darvish is going to the Rangers, to which the student responded that he wasn't since Darvish is not a 'true' Japanese person. He went on to essentially say that he would rather see a Japanese person in the spotlight (paraphrasing).

The guy shamelessly/obliviously said this, even though he knows that I have children who, like Darvish, have one Japanese parent, speak Japanese fluently, and are in the Japanese school system, and consider themselves Japanese.

Anyway, Darvish seems to be getting a very warm welcome from the Texas fans. He'll probably have much less racial baggage to deal with there than he has his whole life in Japan. Looks like a step in the right direction.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Piltdown Man That's just a taste of the truth. Imagine if he gave you the 100% pure concentrated version of how Japanese people really feel. *That makes me angry so I don't want to go off topic.

Welcome to your new home Darvish. The great state of Texas which is BIGGER than Japan as a whole will treat you with respect. If those ESPN reporters say anything outside PC then we will get them fired. It's going to be an exciting baseball season this year in the Majors. We'll be able to enjoy it on NHK and AppleTV.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

@Piltdown Man: Hey, don't worry ... that's the kind of medieval thinking that all through history gets this country into trouble over and over again. Can't you see it for what it really is? Deep-seated inferiority manifesting in drivel. People call our sons 'hafu' I say no, you're 'double'. You have two of everything. Two languages, two cultures, two passports and far better looking that most. I think Darvish will do well and hope he gets the language down soon.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

What is the big news about this for Japanese? i mean Dominican have 512 player this year in the Mayor league, Dominican not only have quantity but quality, i dont see any Dominican Reporter doing what the Japanese does been in the way of the training! Men!!, even in this? come on Japan Grow up!!

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

And yet Darvish was the top vote getter among Pacific League SP All Star.

Sometimes it's wise to not paint the general public with a broad paint brush based on a single encounter. Just a suggestion.

-1 ( +5 / -6 )

Sometimes it's wise to not paint the general public with a broad paint brush based on a single encounter. Just a suggestion.

Funny. I thought that they were talking about one person's reaction to Darvish rather than the general public. Thanks for the perspective.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Also, to be clear, just because Darvish was a top vote getter does not equal people considering him 'full Japanese' or not. To ignore the very real phenomenon described in the post above is to be quite unrealistic about a certain section of Japanese society.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

And the media circus if OFF & RUNNING............................yawn

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Piltdown Man...so true. They just don't get it.

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Well I hope he does extremely well.... He's half Iranian too... maybe the Iranians will follow his progress in the states and it just may help ties between the USA and Iran. Darvish may possibly help diffuse a world war.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Should be an interesting year. Another Japanese pitcher joined the AL West, Iwakuma. The two should face off this season, and I'm sure the press will cover it big-time.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Darvish may be the best Japanese pitcher in history. I believe that he will show greater performance than Hideo Nomo.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Hope he does well and enjoys being in the great country that is USA, and hope he gets mad putang, too.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Piltdown, I'm sorry to hear that you met such a person. Netninja, please do not assume that all Japanese people think or feel that way. I'm a big fan of baseball and follow both the NPB and MLB. Not once has any of my Japanese friends made any mention of Yu's racial background. He has a Japanese passport. He is Japanese. By the way, I am a so-called "hafu" but I have a Japanese passport and all of my Japanese friends treat me no different. Maybe 30 years ago it would be an issue, but if you look around Tokyo there are so many biracial kids.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Holding America up as a paragon of racial sensitivity is a little disingenuous, isn't it? I mean, Darvish might be treated well by Texas fans because he's a rich ballplayer - but what if he was a poor Mexican? I think America has its own racism problems to deal that are more individual rather than institutional like Japan.

Moderator: All readers, stay on topic please. The subject is Yu Darvish, not racism.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Head and shoulders above the rest, in more ways than one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

He's half Iranian too... maybe the Iranians will follow his progress in the states and it just may help ties between the USA and Iran. Darvish may possibly help diffuse a world war.

I doubt they even know who he is. Has even been there? He's not one of them, he's Japanese - regardless of what the locals think.

As for the locals not thinking he's Japanese, I have heard it so many times. One of my students this year agreed with the sumo cap on foreigners, not allowing the first running in eikiden being none Japanese... Why? He says Japanese are weak and therefore need help. When I pointed out the gold medals, the women's soccer team he shrugged. Why I asked about darvish and Murofushi he claimed they weren't real Japanese. This is an English major of all things. The ego is a weak thing.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Here's hoping he does well, and here's hoping the media doesn't CONSTANTLY hound him and he gets a bit of peace (unlike a lot of other Japanese athlete's who make it big... and especially if/when they tank later. Matsuzaka, anyone?).

Piltdown Man: While the person you were talking to is certainly not alone in that opinion (one of the reasons why, as he claims himself, Darvish turned down an offer for the MLB earlier so that he could establish himself first in Japan, as Japanese), he also shares the ignorance people of such opinion do. nigelboy is correct in that we should not at all paint all Japanese with the same brush for the sake of a few (and trust me, if Darvish does well he will most certainly be 'Japanese' to most people in Japan, and only a foreigner if he does not live up to the hype as, not ironically, many other Japanese who move to the MLB do), but neither should we let it go -- so thanks for sharing.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Also, to be clear, just because Darvish was a top vote getter does not equal people considering him 'full Japanese' or not. To ignore the very real phenomenon described in the post above is to be quite unrealistic about a certain section of Japanese society.

Ben.

So what if he's "half" or not "full Japanese"('whatever this means)? Did that stop him from gaining notoriety and popularity in Japan? Not only was he a top vote getter in Japan for the last 3-4 years, the current media fiasco clearly indicates that him being "half" or "not full" has absolutely no negative effect on how most of the population feels about Darvish.

one of the reasons why, as he claims himself, Darvish turned down an offer for the MLB earlier so that he could establish himself first in Japan, as Japanese)

もしメジャーリーグに行くってなるくらいやったら僕は野球を辞めます。日本の子供たちだって、おもしろくないじゃないですか。子供達を楽しませるためには、そういう(日本に残る)人も必要やと思うし

"If I was forced to go to the Major League, I will quit baseball. It's not fun for the kids in Japan. In order for the kids to be excited, people like me are needed here in Japan".

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Talented, handsome, popular, he is a true star! I am sure he has more women fans than men fans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

should've came to Toronto... if they were actually bidding for him

0 ( +0 / -0 )

tomatoflightFeb. 22, 2012 - 10:41AM JST

Should be an interesting year. Another Japanese pitcher joined the AL West, Iwakuma. The two should face off this season, and I'm sure the press will cover it big-time.

Don't forget about Hiroki Kuroda who is now a Yankee... If he goes up against Darvish and its at Yankee Stadium in NY, it will be mass hysteria! My wife and I drove to Kansas City (from Denver) just to see Matsui play the Royals and even in Kansas City there were hundreds of Japanese fans there seeking an autograph before the game. Surprisingly, my wife wound up getting a ball signed for her brother back in Japan...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tmarie: Yes he's half Iranian.. Look at Jeremey Lin playing for the NY Nicks... he's a sensation in Taiwan and his nationality is American and grew up in the States. I could be wrong but I think the Iranians would love it... even if Darvish grew up in Japan, if he kicked butt in the States at American's National sport. Only time will tell.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Not only was he a top vote getter in Japan for the last 3-4 years, the current media fiasco clearly indicates that him being "half" or "not full" has absolutely no negative effect on how most of the population feels about Darvish.

Spectacular show at missing the point again. No one has suggested Darvish is not popular or that he does not love Japan. As I wrote, being popular in Japan is not necessarily the same as being accepted equally as a Japanese. There is also a media fiasco whenever Brad Pitt comes to Japan and I don't recall him being considered Japanese.

Moderator: Stay on topic please. Brad Pitt is not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

If I was forced to go to the Major League, I will quit baseball

So, when is he going to quit baseball, again?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@tmarie: Yes he's half Iranian.. Look at Jeremey Lin playing for the NY Nicks... he's a sensation in Taiwan and his nationality is American and grew up in the States. I could be wrong but I think the Iranians would love it... even if Darvish grew up in Japan, if he kicked butt in the States at American's National sport. Only time will tell.

Lin has dual nationality and has visited Taiwan - and played a few games there. Also, passive bilingual. Darvish, from my understanding hasn't done anything like this and doesn't speak a lick of the language. Basketball is huge in Taiwan, baseball isn't much of anything in Iran. I'm not trying to diss Darvish for this but really, this kind of attitude annoys me. The only thing connecting him to the country is his dad. I greatly dislike when Japan tries to claim anyone who has a drop of Japanese blood in them, "half".. for their own when they're on top but doesn't want anything to do with them when they are no ones. Iran trying to claim Darvish would be much like that.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Spectacular show at missing the point again. No one has suggested Darvish is not popular or that he does not love Japan. As I wrote, being popular in Japan is not necessarily the same as being accepted equally as a Japanese. There is also a media fiasco whenever Brad Pitt comes to Japan and I don't recall him being considered Japanese.

Then might I suggest you clarify this so called phenemenon that you speak of? What is this "being acceptated equally as Japanese"? The guy can reside, vote, work and play in the Olympics and WBC representing Japan. Be specific.

So, when is he going to quit baseball, again?

The guy had a change of heart when opposing batters stated that they didn't want to face him. In other words, there was no competition to drive him.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

nigelboy,

There are plenty of previously mentioned specifics and not need to go over them. You just chose to ignore or gloss over them. None of your posts support the argument you claim.

The guy had a change of heart when opposing batters stated that they didn't want to face him. In other words, there was no competition to drive him.

So, he stopped caring about whether he "excited" Japanese kids? Isn't that sweet. Anyway, it did not support your argument anyway. Care to try again?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are plenty of previously mentioned specifics and not need to go over them. You just chose to ignore or gloss over them. None of your posts support the argument you claim.

Well. There's another guy who is "full Japanese"® who had three batting titles and a career average of .329 came into the Brewers camp with virtually little fanfare compared to Darvish. So much for being "full Japanese" ® .

So, he stopped caring about whether he "excited" Japanese kids? Isn't that sweet. Anyway, it did not support your argument anyway. Care to try again?

Like I said, the guy had a change of heart. Weighing pros and cons and what not. People do that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

nigelboy,

Like I said, the guy had a change of heart. Weighing pros and cons and what not. People do that.

Yeah, but your reason does not make any sense whatsoever. You wrote that he had a change of heart when opposing batters stated that they didn't want to face him. In other words, there was no competition to drive him. The opposing batters did not have a choice but to face him and face him they did. Of course they would rather face an easy to hit pitcher rather than a difficult one. Did you mean to say Darvish found Japanese batters lacking on skill? That he wanted more of a challenge in the majors? Because, what you wrote makes little to no sense. Pitchers want to intimidate batters. The "excitement" (you should have said entertainment) of Japanese kiddies was less of concern than you were led to believe. He might have been thinking about the majors all along, but did not want to play his cards too soon. You don't know and neither do I. All we know is he is there now.

You still seem to not understand that popularity and whether someone is seen as Japanese in Japan are two different things. Of course Darvish is popular. He is good at what he does. I don't doubt that. A poster brought up an anecdote that is not unheard of in Japan related to Japanese of mixed heritage yand ou went to the standard "not everyone does it". Of course, not everyone does it. Nobody said they everybody did. However, it exists. That's all. Witness Takeo Hiranuma's comments about a mixed heritage Japanese and he is still an elected official. I have no doubt as well that Darvish considers himself a full Japanese, as he should. I do. I was just pointing out that there is a segment of society that does not. As was the poster you leaped in to chastise.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The opposing batters did not have a choice but to face him and face him they did. Of course they would rather face an easy to hit pitcher rather than a difficult one. Did you mean to say Darvish found Japanese batters lacking on skill?

But opposing batters telling him directly that they didn't want to face him is completely different than opposition telling a third person. And it's quite obvious that Major League hitters overall are better than Japan's hitters.

The "excitement" (you should have said entertainment) of Japanese kiddies was less of concern than you were led to believe.

Perhaps it was a concern then when he made that statement.

He might have been thinking about the majors all along, but did not want to play his cards too soon.

Many Japanese baseball players do indeed tell the media that their ultimate goal is to play for the Majors early in their respective career. There isn't any harm in it whatsoever. Darvish, on the other hand, made no inclination of such goal.

You still seem to not understand that popularity and whether someone is seen as Japanese in Japan are two different things. Of course Darvish is popular. He is good at what he does. I don't doubt that. A poster brought up an anecdote that is not unheard of in Japan related to Japanese of mixed heritage yand ou went to the standard "not everyone does it". Of course, not everyone does it. Nobody said they everybody did.

" He'll (Darvish) probably have much less racial baggage to deal with there than he has his whole life in Japan. Looks like a step in the right direction."

Hence, I naturally countered to what this "baggage" he was claiming to in regards to Darvish.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Readers, Darvish's heritage is not relevant to this discussion. Please stay on topic.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

But opposing batters telling him directly that they didn't want to face him is completely different than opposition telling a third person.

Yes, however, even in person, it is not such a strange thing to have said to him. He's a great pitcher. It is only natural that they don't want to face him. I think it is more because of the challenge in the US than anything batters said to him. As you said, it's quite obvious that Major League hitters overall are better than Japan's hitters. He just wanted a change and a challenge. I don't think Darvish was running to the US away from Japanese racism. I think he is going there for the challenge and the huge amount of cash, just like others like Ichiro have done before him.

Perhaps it was a concern then when he made that statement.

Perhaps. I've also read that he did not want to go to the US when he was younger because of US/Iran relations. People often say what they need to for their own PR. Nothing wrong with it. Just saying that might have been part of it when he was talking about entertaining kids in Japan. It's the kind of thing entertainers and famous people say all the time. It is a way to be endearing to their fans.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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