Yu Darvish Opens Up About Getting Destroyed In The 2017 World Series

Alright first off my bad (I guess) for sharing the Japanese version only. We're still waiting on the YouTube translation service to hit the market so bare/bear with me. 

It's bear. 

I did some digging via text message from WSD about this fantastic translation thread on reddit from our good friend u/rataface... unfortunately I don't have his/her soundcloud link to pass along so that's on me. Anyways and Spoiler Alert = it's HEAVY. 

If you know Yu Darvish the way Cubs' fans who pay attention know Yu Darvish, then be prepared to feel something:

What happened during Game 7

During the 2017 World Series, I threw around two innings, and I obviously wasn’t able to perform well. Couldn’t last two innings, something like that. I screwed up. After that WS for the past two years, I’ve received a lot of unpleasant comments from Dodgers fans about my performance. But during the past few days, I’ve received a lot of apologies from Dodgers fans, that my performance was because of the Astros stealing the signs. I’m very impressed as to how they’re reacting recently.

But personally, Game 7 was played at Dodgers Stadium. Since what we currently know is limited to MMP, I don’t think there were any sign stealings going on at that game. However, with the technology that they have, I really think it’s not impossible that they’ve done it at LA as well.

After Game 7, there were news about how I was tipping my pitches. After the WS ended, I personally asked a player from the Astros about it. He said that I was fumbling my ball before I threw my fastball. After Game 3, the Dodgers suspected that I was tipping my pitches, and I reviewed some footage with some people. I reviewed my mechanics from that footage, but we all couldn’t find any noticeable signs that I was giving something away. During Game 7, I was really aware and concerned about this, so I made extra sure on the mound that I wasn’t giving anything away.

After Game 7, I’ve been personally trying to get to the bottom of this problem. This year, from a source from the Astros that I won’t disclose, I was told that I was tipping my pitches during Game 3 and 7 by fumbling my ball before my windup. Since I saw my Game 7 footage numerous times, I was convinced that I wasn’t doing that, and there was something in the back of my mind that didn’t mesh well with what that player was saying, and what was shown on the footage.

Yu Darvish is a nut job about his mechanics. Guy loves doing towel drills and looking at film and obsessing over his craft because that's his character. We've seen it consistently since joining the Cubs in 2018. When things don't go well, he tries harder. Much harder. 

It's no surprise how much pressure Darvish puts on himself so imagine his stress in the World Series. Imagine how much effort went into solving whatever problems were in his head. That's what kills me about this - Darvish is doing everything in his power to compete and in return he's getting fucked by the Baseball Gods. It's actually disgusting. 

Bright side and selfishly as a Cubs fan, this is going to build him back up. You know the fan engagement means something to him because he tries so hard. Even if it's a slight bump in his confidence and place in Major League Baseball, it's a huge factor when you're talking about Yu. We've said it before I'll say it again, he's all confidence and momentum. Aside from all the negativity surrounding this and the fact he has to relive it, I absolutely LOVE the fact he can close the chapter on that part of his career. 

Looking back on his WS performance:

Now, do I think that my failure in the 2017 WS is because of the Astros stealing signs? I don’t think so, I think Astros have talented players. Results don’t change, and I don’t expect anyone to send me apologies for what they had said to me for the past 2 years. Through adversity, I’ve been able to work hard to get to where I am, where I can play for a great organization, the Cubs. If I start associating my failure to the Astros scandal, I don’t think that I would be able to develop as a person. I think adversity is important in life, and I think these types of failures will be an important experience for me, as a player. I’m willing to swallow the results of 2017.

I'm going back to the well again. If you know Darvish, this shouldn't surprise you either. He's going to take full responsibility regardless. They could uncover conclusive evidence that the Astros stole every pitch he threw in the WS and Darvish would still take the blame. And to be clear, that's not a PR stunt. That's just who this guy is as a human being, which is objectively rare when you consider he's a born-cultural phenomenon. He could just as easily say I'm one of the best in the world - of course I lost because they cheated. 

But alas, you're not going to get that from Yu Darvish. At least not my Yu Darvish. 

On Gurriel:

During the 2017 WS, Gurriel did a racial gesture after he hit a HR off of me. I don’t really care, but if he did that knowing about the signs, I think that puts that problem in an entirely different light.

This is where the Astros are indefensibly over the line. Yes, in this specific instance with Yu Darvish. No doubt about it that this is the most glaring example of them being dicks and that's where this gets bigger for me. 

The Astros have ascended as such loud, relentless douchebags. Fine when you're that good. But when you mix in robust, established cheating, the whole thing does a 180 for me. Alex Bregman is a legit treat to watch play, but now I need help cleaning puke from my keyboard: 

So yeah, the cheating sucks. Obviously. But the tone and way they carry themselves compounds it. For Darvish, it hits home extra hard that Gurriel is such an insolent fuck because it's an unfair advantage to even begin with. Hard to imagine making the initial gesture any worse, but here we are talking about it. 

Ladies and Gentlemen, your World Champion Houston Astros. 

Some weird things he saw this year:

Especially this year, I've noticed a lot weird things. When I’m in the set position, usually the batter looks at me. It depends on the batter, but they generally look at my elbows, my eyes, my shoulders, you know it. But several times this year, I’ve noticed that the batters don’t look at me. (Timestamp at 11:00, he does a bit of demonstration) Even without runners on second, I see players just looking into the distance, around left center field. It’s awkward. This usually happens when we’re the visiting team. I’ve even told Caratini during mound visits that the batters eyes were not on me.

Expanding into league wide speculation is such a classy move by Yu because he doesn't want this to just be about him vs. the Houston Astros. I respect that move so much because in reality, the story really is much bigger. 

Yes, Darvish is a centerpiece to this drama because you could argue no other player has been more mentally/emotionally/reputationally impacted. 

But at the same time there's obviously so much more shit going on that we can't even begin to guess where it ends. For now, it's good there's at least some kind of starting point. You imagine pervasive sign stealing would have a direct-impact on how much baseball's become a 3-outcome game: homerun, walk, strikeout. And maybe I'm alone, but this shit is becoming long and boring and it's getting worse. Not to be too crotchety and yell at too many clouds, but my brain says sign stealing adds to this trend and I want to be clear: this trend fucking blows. That's my take. Sue me. 


So… um… let’s stop sign stealing. What’s fun about swinging at something that you know that’s coming? I wonder if the batters are actually happy with that. If Houston was actually content with winning the WS knowing that they were stealing signs electronically… IDK I wouldn't be able to do that as a player if I’m in their shoes. It’s very disappointing.

Let's just leave it at that. He wouldn't be able to do it as a player and for the last time that's because Yu Darvish is a fucking stand up man. Great guy. All time teammate and dedicated pitcher. For nothing else, it's good he's getting some apologies. God knows it actually means something to him.