baseball

Japan counting on Darvish to rescue pride, bragging rights

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all that riding on a baseball player. and of course (now) he is japanese.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

When he wins he'll be Japanese and when he loses he'll be ..."with the Iranian born father."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

His first year will be good. His second year will be great (IF he stays healthy).

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The negative spin would be, "Oh, so NOW he is Japanese" (as long as he performs well) and as mentioned above, IF he does poorly, I'm sure the fact that he has an "Iranian born father" will be tossed around as as way to sublimely distance him from a "real" Japanese.

BUT maaaaaybe if he does kick @ss, it will help people understand that being "Japanese" doesn't only mean having Japanese parents and being born in Japan. either way, I hope he does well.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

If Yu wins in the Bigs most of the time, will he be accepted in Nihon as "one of us," a "pure" Japanese? And, contrarily, if he loses most of the time, will he be labeled "Oh, that Iranian? ;-) Te-hee ... wink, wink.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@crustpunker

unfortunately, Japan is one of those countries that doesnt really notice the difference between Japanese as an ethnicity and Japanese as a nationality. I hope that he does well, I think anybody reaching their dreams needs support, but sadly he will never be japanese. He will always be considered a foreigner. Its the same as how Mohammad Ali was treated during the time of segregation in the US. Keep winning those medals for us but you still arent one of us. Not as much animosity though. But if he was half korean, wow.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

LOL, a bunch of people coming up with their own theories thinking they are so smart.

I have heard very few Japanese people question Darvish being Japanese, I only hear it on JapanToday really. This article doesn't even mention anything about whether he is truely japanese or not but it's YOU guys who quesiton whether he is or not .

And that's because that's all you care about, not us

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Hide, perhaps you can dig a little deeper as Yu has commented some of the issues he had being called a gaijin and not accepted as being full Japanese. I have also heard people say this. So... you're not exactly looking too smart right now.

3 ( +8 / -5 )

When he wins he'll be Japanese and when he loses he'll be ..."with the Iranian born father."

Yes, there is a long, long history of this. For example, when baseball ironman Sachio Kinugasa did well, he was a symbol of Japanese toughness and perseverance. When he didn't, the fact that his father was a black American was somehow a part of it.

When Hideki Irabu did well in Japan and threw some super-fast pitches, he was an example of Japanese power pitching. When he did poorly at times in the U.S. and got fat, it was because of his white American father.

I think Darvish will do well in MLB. For how many years is impossible to say, of course. Pitching is an unnatural motion that puts great strain on certain parts of the arm-depending on the mechanics.

"is expected to struggle with the league’s slippery ball and harder pitcher’s mound"

Nomo didn't have any trouble his first year. He was tremendous.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Putting aside the Japaneseness of the player. What I cant stand is how these players are built up, put on pedistals(or pitching mounds LOL!) & the swarms of media, the stupid stupid coverage in the media in Japan, you wud have thought some time after Nomo the insanity wud have waned & then peak occasionally but no it persists in all its insanity.

And the weight, wtf, I can understand its cool to watch your own do well, but the headline here is a perfect example of how nutzo it gets!

0 ( +1 / -1 )

They do this with all their "stars" and often, the media and the pressure is what gets to them. Poor Miki Ando has suffered because of this - not a fan of hers at all but the amount of pressure she faced and then the backlash... The media here never seems to learn.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Darvish came just at the right time - it's currently the era of the pitchers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hide Suzuki: "I have heard very few Japanese people question Darvish being Japanese, I only hear it on JapanToday really."

When you close your eyes because you don't want to see something, you don't see it. Same with your ears. It's a known fact, and Darvish himself has said it, that he was some time ago offered a position in the MLB but turned it down to play in Japan and PROVE he is 'Japanese' because so many people directed criticism towards him for being 'ha-fu'. Now that he is successful, he is 'Japanese'. If he fails, you can bet some of the criticism will return. In one respect he'll be similar to other over-trumpeted Japanese athletes, though -- if/when he fails the media will stop reporting out of embarrassment.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

tmarie: "They do this with all their "stars" and often, the media and the pressure is what gets to them. Poor Miki Ando has suffered because of this - not a fan of hers at all but the amount of pressure she faced and then the backlash... The media here never seems to learn."

Agree 100%, and I have said this time and again, only to be told I am 'Japan bashing' (because people can't refute the facts). It's not only Ando, but Asada (and all skaters after her being called 'mini-Mao' or what have you, but you'll notice you don't hear that any more), Fukuhara Ai, Ryo Ishikawa, and heaps of others. There are few built with a skin thick enough here to deal with it, and it's unclear if Darvish can or can't. I DO think that his experiences with racism will give him more than enough to deal with the media onslaught, but we still don't know how his actual game will pan out. He's had a rocky start, but his last game was a lot better, and he's just beginning. I wish the media in this nation (and others) would back off and give the kid a break, but that's not going to happen one bit if he's successful.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

GW: " What I cant stand is how these players are built up, put on pedistals(or pitching mounds LOL!) & the swarms of media, the stupid stupid coverage in the media in Japan..."

Exactly!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

People all over the world are racist, it's a brand new information really ... The big picture is rather that Darvish is a beloved pitcher all over Japan and it's completely normal he has to deal with a lot of medias, this is what feeds him, being constantly in the spotlight. You can't take only the good parts of the job, that's what being a public figure means.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Darvish seems like a nice guy. He just needs to pitch like he normally does and not listen to other craps from Japan media. Darvish commuicates with Holland well and plays catch with him before the game. Tries hard to communicate with his teammates. Aside from erratic fastball, he seems to be a real deal and adjusting well to MLB. Darvish has one of the best baseball coach in Maddux and gets good advise. Rangers will limit him to 100 pitches per game. Darvish has good chance to win 14-15 games this year.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

You dont get to be in the elite class by giving a fig what the media thinks..simple as that..to think that Darvish will fail given what hes been thru thus far to media hassling is a pretty dumb character assessment

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So far:

Darvish is getting lit up: 2 Innings Pitched, 6 Hits, 5 Earned Runs.

Ichiro: 2 for 2 with a double.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

sfjp330APR. 10, 2012 - 05:13AM JST Darvish seems like a nice guy. He just needs to pitch like he normally does and not listen to other craps from Japan media. Darvish commuicates with Holland well and plays catch with him before the game. Tries hard to communicate with his teammates. Aside from erratic fastball, he seems to be a real deal and adjusting well to MLB. Darvish has one of the best baseball coach in Maddux and gets good advise. Rangers will limit him to 100 pitches per game. Darvish has good chance to win 14-15 games this year.

You got dreams of hope that you had with Matsuzaka, Igawa, Irabu. Darvish is no exception. He is too skinny and I doubt he has endurance to last long season of 162 games in MLB for many years. He will end up having arm problem in the MLB. He has a good stuff but how long will his arm survive in MLB? Every team in MLB has 3-4 guys that throw just as hard or harder than Darvish. If he start losing 3-4mph in his fastball, he will get hit hard.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Final line for Darvish:

5-2/3 Innings Pitched, 8 Hits, 5 Earned Runs, 4 walks, 5 StrikeOuts, 1 hit-batter, 110 Pitches (59 strikes, 51 balls), 2.12 WHIP, .320 BAA, 7.94 ERA.

After the first 2 innings, he settled down a bit. He was still wild (threw a lot of balls and some walks), so led to a lot of pitches per inning and an early substitution. Basically, same issue with Dice-K.

But his Texas teammates bailed him out by scoring 8 runs.

Also so far for Seattle: Ichiro 3 for 5 with a double and 2 runs, Kawasaki 1 for 3 with a walk and RBI.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Guess Darvish just doesn't like season debuts - his 2011 debut vs Seibu: 7 runs in 7 innings.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

rmistric, Darvish is too skinny? He weighs 215 pounds.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

mrkobayashiAPR. 10, 2012 - 01:41PM JST rmistric, Darvish is too skinny? He weighs 215 pounds.

Mr. Kobayashi,

You're right.

sfjp330DEC. 01, 2011 - 10:12AM JST You got dreams of hope that you had with Matsuzaka, Igawa, Irabu. Darvish is no exception. He is too skinny and I doubt he has endurance to last long season of 162 games in MLB for many years. He will end up having arm problem in the MLB. He has a good stuff but how long will his arm survive in MLB? Every team in MLB has 3-4 guys that throw just as hard or harder than Darvish. If he start losing 3-4mph in his fastball, he will get hit hard.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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