Secondly, this would be a lot more believable if the “experience” factor didn’t feel like a constantly moving target around here. Today it’s MLB experience, tomorrow it will be experience in the American League, after that it will be experience in the American League East specifically, etc. “Experience” seems to be a constantly evolving standard based on which player the Yankees are trying to non-sell to the fans and media at any given time.
The Yankees are concerned about Darvish’s ability to make the transition to the majors, the source said, specifically the difference between the baseballs themselves, which are larger here than they are in Japan.
I’m pretty sure this is the first time I’ve ever heard that excuse.
Another concern is the workload that starters take on in the majors, pitching every fifth day rather than once per week as they do in Japan’s Pacific League, where Darvish has played since 2007.
This one I have heard before, but I don’t really buy it. It’s always struck me as something that was trotted out by the Red Sox to a gullible media when it became clear that they had mis-evaluated Daisuke Matsusaka. By the same token, college and high school pitchers don’t have the same work patterns as major league players, but that doesn’t stop anyone from acquiring them and paying them large bonuses when they’re merited.
Darvish did post impressive numbers last season — he was 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA and 276 strikeouts in 232 innings — but nobody knows how his stuff will translate.
It’s weird; I could have sworn the Yankees had a couple of scouting directors who were hot candidates for general manager jobs around the league. Maybe the other 29 teams should take note of the fact that they are apparently terrible at staffing their departments, as no one in the Yankees’ organization is apparently able to scout the best pitcher in Japan.
The Yankees’ luck with Japanese imports hasn’t been all bad; Hideki Matsui” href=”http://www.nydailynews.com/topics/Hideki+Matsui”>Hideki Matsui was a solid performer after coming to New York on a three-year, $21 million deal. Matsui didn’t miss a game during his first three seasons, although he experienced injury issues after re-signing for four more years and $52 million. Despite that, he helped lead the Yankees to the 2009 world championship, winning MVP honors in the Fall Classic.
Matsui was 28 years old when he came to the Yankees, leaving Japan as a free agent after playing a decade with the Yomiuri Giants. The Yankees attribute some of Matsui’s success to the fact that he was already a seasoned veteran when he signed, accustomed to the massive attention that came his way.
Matsui is also a hitter, so I have no idea what he has in common with Darvish other than shared nationality, so, yeah.
The Yankees were confident he would not be intimidated by New York, something that can’t necessarily be said for the younger Darvish.
On the one hand, I really want to ask how the hell they could possibly know this, but, on the other hand, we’ve already trotted out every other cliche and stereotype I can think of, so I suppose there’s no reason not to check of “he can’t handle New York” while we’re at it.
Anyway, I have no idea what the Yankees’ plan to do about Darvish, so take all of this with a grain of salt until after the bids are announced. But keep it in mind if they lowball their bid.