Yu Darvish will be introduced tonight at The Ballpark. No doubt it will be a circus.
In a radio interview yesterday, Jon Daniels talked about Darvish’s contract negotiations. One thing that jumped out at me was the fact that, throughout the process, Yu didn’t ask for any special considerations.
Sometimes, when a big-time player is signed, he asks for certain perks. It could be having your own driver or getting a luxury hotel suite during road trips or any number of other things that set you apart from the rest of the team.
(One such example is that in Albert Pujols’ deal with the Angels he gets 10 free tickets to Disneyland every year. I guess the entirety of his $254MM has already been earmarked and poor Albert just can’t afford any Disneyland tickets on his own.)
Darvish seems to understand the importance of integrating oneself into the clubhouse environment, especially for a foreign player. By all accounts, he just wants to be one of the guys, part of the team.
This is more apparent considering that he asked the Rangers not to provide an interpreter outside of interviews. When dealing with his teammates, he wants to be the one doing the talking.
He even told Jon Daniels that, although he’s a well-established veteran in Japan, he’s still a rookie in MLB and wouldn’t have a problem with any of those rookie hazing rituals that big league players are so fond of (such as being asked to wear a Hooter’s outfit on a road trip).
The Rangers already have some of the best clubhouse chemistry in the major leagues, but chemistry is tricky. Bringing in the wrong ego can upset the balance. Based on what we’ve seen so far, Yu isn’t coming in as the rock-star ace phenom pitcher that he is in Japan.
He knows he’s got something to prove and he’s already starting to prove it. Now he’s just got to pitch.
A few little things before this post is wrapped up. This morning I changed my Twitter account from @Section52 to @BleacherSeatsTX.
I’ve never liked Section 52 as a title, which is why this site is called The Bleacher Seats in spite of its URL. Eventually I plan on changing that as well. For now, though, take note of the new Twitter handle.
In other big news, I was recently contacted by a representative at Fansided.com asking me if I would be interested in writing for their Ranger themed blog. The short of it is that, sometime in the near future, I will be contributing 2 articles per week to Nolan Writin’.
All of that content will be completely original and will not be posted to The Bleacher Seats. It’s very exciting and I will post here when my first piece goes live.