Yu Darvish Newsbeat
Friday, April 26, 2013
One of the most formidable tools in a pro baseball pitcher’s arsenal is the consistency of pitching motion when throwing different kinds of pitches. If your delivery looks the same to an opposing batter when throwing a 95-mph fastball, a 80-mph curve, and a 85-mph change-up, well, you’ve really got something there. Texas pitcher Yu Darvish is ripping up the AL this year with a 4-1 record, 1.65 ERA, and 49 strikeouts, which prompted Drew Sheppard to layer five of Darvish’s pitches on top of one another in an animated GIF.
Looks like a four seam fastball, two sliders, a curve, and a nasty screwball. Great, great gif. Can’t believe this hasn’t been linked here yet.
Thursday, April 04, 2013
Why don’t these foreigners learn ‘Merican?
Even if Ashby is ignorant of Darvish’s linguistic agility, what he said was silly — and colleague Geoff Blum even said as much in the booth at the time. Here’s a transcript of the relevant part of the broadcast, via the Four DVRs blog in the Houston Chronicle:
Blum: Man. Gosh, that has got to be a tough pill to swallow.
Ashby: That’ll force a guy to learn some of the language here in America.
Blum: Some of the more inappropriate language. I’m loving it. They probably learn that instantly coming over here. But that was a fantastic performance.
Of course Japanese ballplayers playing in North America know how to swear in English. Profanity (can be) one of the first thing anyone learning a new language picks up. Ichiro’s famous (NSFW) “Two rats in a sock” quote is a good example of this.
The Astros must have heard people complaining about Ashby’s joke, because they made him apologize. Here’s his official statement, which reads like a monologue that hostages are encouraged to announce at gunpoint:
“I’d like to apologize if my comments last night were misinterpreted or construed as insensitive. I have the highest respect for Yu Darvish; he’s a great player and his performance last night was outstanding. He showed a great deal of poise in the face of a difficult moment last night, which speaks to the strength of his character.”
That’s a new low for the “I apologize if I offended anyone” brand of apology, and it probably won’t help Ashby with the crowd that will be mad at him no matter what.
Wednesday, April 03, 2013
Bryce Harper was robbed.
We just don’t have the endurance to wait. We want same day delivery. We want instant downloads. We want stream, we want push notifications, we want instant analysis. We are a refresh button society, and we pound that thing over and over to get the latest, the very latest, the absolute latest … and then we hit the refresh button again.
In other words, hey, look, every team in baseball has played at least one game now.
It’s time for our early season baseball awards:
American League MVP: Matt Wieters, Baltimore
Many people expected Matt Wieters to be a superstar the day he arrived in the big leagues. You might remember those “Matt Wieters Facts” that (like Chuck Norris facts) were circulating for a while – my favorite being, “Matt Wieters is the reason I comes before E except after C.” He became an outstanding player in 2012. He won his second Gold Glove Award – he has developed into a brilliant defensive catcher – and he hit 23 home runs.
But he emerged in 2013. In his one game, he hit a double and a homer, walked twice, drove in two runs, scored two more and led the Orioles to victory over Tampa Bay and into a first place tie in the American League East (and people thought Baltimore would fade in 2013!). Wieters led the league in batting average (.800), slugging percentage (2.000) and OPS (2.800).
Yu Darvish saw the ball skip between his shins, dashing his chance at perfection. Immediately, several Texas Rangers came to the mound to console him.
“I think my teammates were more disappointed than I was,” he said through a translator.
Darvish was one out from a perfect game when Marwin Gonzalez grounded a clean single through the pitcher’s legs, and Texas beat the Houston Astros 7-0 on Tuesday night.
The celebrated right-hander from Japan struck out a career-high 14 and was in complete control before Gonzalez smacked the first pitch up the middle. Darvish was unable to get his glove down in time and the ball skittered into center field well beyond a desperate dive by shortstop Elvis Andrus….
Using his dizzying array of pitches, including a fastball that topped out at 97 mph, a slider, and 95 mph cutters, Darvish bedeviled the mostly inexperienced Houston hitters.
“When I tell you we threw everything, we threw everything,” said Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who caught Humber’s perfect game for the White Sox last season. “We threw the kitchen sink tonight, but Yu has the ability to do that and he’s special.”
Monday, January 07, 2013
Ichiro has a museum too. And Hideki Matsui. What US baseball players have museums besides Babe Ruth? Don’t Bob Feller and Yogi Berra have museums?
Posted: January 07, 2013 at 05:47 PM | 15 comment(s)
for his generous support.
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