Joe Maddon doesn’t want to hear your Yu Darvish slander. The narrative that surrounds Darvish paints a picture of a weak-minded pitcher that doesn’t like to compete. But if you take one look at his track record, any semi-intelligent person would know how bizarre this is. Not to mention the fact that it’s flat out wrong.
And his manager, Joe Maddon, is sick of hearing about it. Speaking toA�ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, he says the following:
“This concept that he doesn’t compete is absolutely fabricated and false.”
But Maddon isn’t even close to done.
“This guy is one of the best pitchers in the world, not in the United States, but in the world. How could you arrive at that point if you don’t compete? But there are times even good players don’t process the moment well enough and things get away from them. That’s where I think he’s at.”
For Darvish, Maddon says, it’s all about approach. But that’s how it goes for every player. And he knows Darvish is more than capable of getting back to that.
“Really trying to stay focused on this pitch. Respect this pitch only. Don’t worry about the previous or the next one. Let’s respect this pitch. I know he understands that.
“I think it’s approach. Just like hitting goes back to approach. Same with the pitching. Trying to get him to slow down [tough] moments.”
But above all else, Maddon is simply sick of the narrative. He’s tired of the dialogue. He knows how good Darvish is and can be.
“The dialogue has gotten a little bit out of control. This guy is really, really good. When you sit on the side and watch this, it’s fabulous.”
And while Darvish is struggling at the start of this young season (5.26 ERA, 7.07 DRA over 25.2 IP), he’s coming off a dazzling performance Friday against the Brewers. In it, Darvish would toss six innings of three-hit ball, surrendering one run (unearned) while striking out eight and walking just two.
That’s the Darvish we know.