Yu Darvish will have his first US interview tonight on MLB Network
Maybe the excitement will abate at some point, but not for now. Baseball fans of every stripe are watching closely to see how Japanese pitching sensation Yu Darvish is transitioning to MLB with the Rangers.
Darvish talks with MLB Network's Tom Verducci about playing baseball in the United States today in an exclusive interview on MLB Tonight at 6:00 p.m. ET. In his first one-on-one TV interview with a national U.S. network this season, Darvish talks about the adjustment of playing in Major League Baseball compared with playing in his native Japan. Darvish also discusses his ability to throw all of his pitches left-handed, the difference of the feel of the ball in the U.S., his relationship with teammate Josh Hamilton, and his taste for American food.
Highlights from the interview that was taped Wednesday at Baltimore’s Oriole Park at Camden Yards are available below via MLB Network. Following MLB Tonight, the interview will be available for viewing at www.MLBNetwork.com.
Yu Darvish on how the attention he receives in the United States compares to the attention he received in Japan:
“I think in Japan, all of the attention that I received over there, also being Japanese, I understood it. It was natural. But over here, it’s a different culture, different country. They’re saying ‘Yu Darvish.’ The way they ask for autographs, the way they cheer my name like, ‘Yuuu,’ those are a little bit different, but I’m thankful for those and I enjoy it.”
Darvish on the hitters in MLB:
“The power is a little bit different. More power hitters over here, whereas in Japan, there are more contact hitters. Over there, you might have players who will see a lot of pitches and put the ball in play. Whereas over here, I have to be careful of not making too many mistakes. Everyone has the strength to hit for power.”
Darvish on his walk rate and strikeout rate being higher in the U.S. than in Japan:
“The higher rate of walks [means] I’m still not completely adapted to this baseball here. I think the higher rate of strikeouts, maybe the hitters over here, they’re not used to or they haven’t seen a pitcher like me where I have several secondary pitches and still can throw in the mid-90’s. On top of that, they haven’t seen me at all. It’s the first time around. So I think all of that [combined] maybe is resulting in a higher strikeout rate.”
Darvish on Josh Hamilton:
“Just one word: amazing. Actually being there and watching [his four-home run game], I don’t think I’ve ever seen a three-home run game. And the fact that he’s such a nice person, a great teammate, he’s one of the many guys who actually helped me out, I was more happy to see him accomplish that. Since he’s such a nice guy and we get along very well, I believe he’s going to hit five home runs for me next time I pitch.”
Source: MLB Network
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