Darvish says sayonara to 10,000, wants to be world's best

Posted Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Yu Darvish didn't delve into his expectations during an introductory news conference on Friday at Rangers Ballpark. He also opted not to explain the reasons for leaving Nippon Professional Baseball for the Texas Rangers.

Darvish, though, provided those answers Tuesday with more than 10,000 fans on hand at the Sapporo Dome in Hokkaido, Japan, stating he wanted to be known as the best pitcher on the planet.

"These days the evaluations of the Japanese players are getting lower in the States, and I disagree with it, didn't like to see that the Japanese players were looked down upon like that," Darvish said. "I would like all the people in the world to say that the No. 1 pitcher is Darvish."

Darvish reached a six-year, $60 million contract with the Rangers on Jan. 18. Texas also paid a $51.7 million posting fee to Darvish's former team, the Hakkaido Nippon Ham Fighters.

Darvish will continue his off-season workouts in Japan before reporting to spring training in Surprise, Ariz., by Feb. 22. Darvish said he is looking forward to a new challenge: transitioning to the big leagues.

He dominated in Japan, going 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA in seven seasons, and averaged more than 200 innings the past five seasons. Last year, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA.

"When playing baseball [these days], it was difficult to maintain motivation," Darvish said.

Moreland at first?

Mitch Moreland is projected to be the Rangers' starting first baseman when the 2012 season begins.

Nolan Ryan said that early in the off-season, but the Rangers had been linked to Prince Fielder all winter. But Fielder reached a nine-year, $214 million contract with the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday.

General manager Jon Daniels said the Rangers were informed Monday that they were out of the Fielder sweepstakes, and were never really close in terms of years or money.

Now, all signs point to Moreland having the inside track for the first base job. He struggled last season with a right wrist injury, hitting .259 with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs. But Moreland had surgery on his wrist this winter, and said recently that he has begun swinging a bat and is focused on preparing for the season.

Outside of Moreland, Mike Napoli, Michael Young and possibly Brad Hawpe could see time at first in 2012.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Kansas City 10/25 8:07 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
110th World Series, Game Four. Kansas City leads series, 2-1.
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego21Final | Box
Denver «35Gridiron Replay
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, October 25Full Scoreboard
Buffalo «2Final | Box
San Jose1
Boston 10/25 7:00 PM ET
Toronto TV: NHLN, CBC, NESN
NY Rangers01st Prd 19:50 | Box
Montreal0TV: CITY TV, MSG, TVA Sports
New Jersey 10/25 7:00 PM ET
Ottawa TV: SN1, MSG+2
Dallas01st Prd 15:44 | Box
NY Islanders0TV: FSN-SW, MSG+
Detroit01st Prd 14:25 | Box
Philadelphia0TV: FSN-DET, CSN-PHI
Chicago 10/25 8:00 PM ET
St. Louis TV: FX-CA, WGN, FSN-MW
Pittsburgh 10/25 8:00 PM ET
Nashville TV: ROOT-PIT, FSN-TN
Tampa Bay 10/25 8:00 PM ET
Minnesota TV: SUN, FSN-N
Florida 10/25 9:00 PM ET
Arizona TV: FSN-FL, FSN-AZ
Washington 10/25 10:00 PM ET
Calgary TV: CBC, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC
Full Scoreboard