Japan’s World Baseball Classic (WBC) national team’s ‘veteran’ Darvish Yu (36, San Diego Padres) made remarks like an older brother.
On the 5th (Korean time), Japanese media such as Full Count reported Darvish’s interview at the Padres Fan Fest in San Diego.
Unlike other major leaguers such as Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), Darvish, who has been with the Japanese national team from the first day of the camp, said, “(joining early) was not a difficult decision for me. I was concerned about whether the club would be willing to agree.”
Darvish played for the Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, and San Diego, leaving an MLB career record of 95-75 with an ERA of 3.50. In the 2022 season, he went 16-8 with a 3.10 earned run average. He is a veteran big league starting pitcher who recorded 4 games (25 innings) 2 wins and 1 loss with an earned run average of 2.88 even in the postseason.
Darvish, who decided to join the national team early under the persuasion of Japanese baseball team coach Hideki Kuriyama, will play for the WBC for the first time in 14 years since 2009.
In addition to Darvish-Ohtani, Japan called in Seiya Suzuki (Chicago Cubs), Masataka Yoshida (Boston), and mixed-race Ras Nutba (St. Louis) to the national team. This is the first time that a Japanese mixed-race major leaguer has participated in the Japanese baseball team at the WBC, which was launched in 2006.
The faces of players belonging to the Japanese professional baseball team are also gorgeous. Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix), who won the pitcher’s 4 crowns (wins, ERA, strikeouts, win rate) for two consecutive years, and fireballer Sasaki Rocky (Java Lotte), who throws a fastball in the 160 km range, will also participate in the WBC.
Both the mound and offense are evaluated as the best dream team of all time.
Japan, who won the WBC consecutively in 2006 and 2009, advanced to the semifinals in 2013 and 2017. Japan will challenge the WBC championship in 14 years following the gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. Some Japanese media even conveyed the national team’s will to return to the top, even using the expression “Samurai Japan (Japanese baseball team) risked life and death in this tournament.” Head coach Hideki Kuriyama also put emphasis on winning the championship, conveying his solemn determination, saying, “The only goal I can set with these players is to reach the top.” 토토사이트
As if conscious of the overheated atmosphere, Darvish said at the event that day, “(The national team) seems to be over-motivated. “We are going to play baseball, not to go to war,” he advised.
Darvish is by no means taking the weight of the WBC lightly.
Since entering the MLB in 2012, Darvish has not played internationally. It is easier said than done for a pitcher in his mid-30s to participate in a tournament ahead of the regular season after pitching more than 200 innings in a season. With that alone, you can guess how much weight Darvish is putting on this WBC.
Therefore, it is correct to interpret the remarks of the day as the eldest brother of the national team (average age 27.3 years old) aiming for the effect of arousing the atmosphere. On the one hand, it is also a cross-section showing how much Japan is preparing for the 2023 WBC with great expectations.
Kim Ha-seong, who attended the event, said of the Japanese baseball team, “It is a team of players with great talent. The Korea-Japan match is always tense,” he said. When a Japanese reporter asked about the possibility of a two-hit match with Darvish, he said, “It is a great honor. I want to do my best to make Darvish difficult.”
Korea, which belongs to Group B, will play the first round match against Japan at the Tokyo Dome on March 10th. Korean baseball, which showed its potential by finishing third in the first 2006 WBC competition and runner-up in the second 2009 WBC competition, was humiliated by being eliminated in the first round of the group stage in two consecutive competitions.