Stereotypical Stupidity and Yu Darvish

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If teams shied away from making a posting bid on Yu Darvish because they didn’t want to spend the money on the fee and then to sign him to a contract, then okay.

If they weren’t impressed with his abilities, fine.

If they were legitimately concerned that he wouldn’t transition well, fair enough.

If they examined the past successes and failures of big name pitchers who came over from Japan—Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Irabu and even Kei Igawa—and decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward, I won’t quibble.

But if teams came up with the simplistic argument that because Darvish is coming over from Japan and the aforementioned pitchers were disappointing that he wasn’t worth a serious look, it’s a ridiculous and illogical case doomed to haunt those who, like me, believe strongly in Darvish’s potential.

Would any GM or scout in his right mind look at a pitcher from Ohio and say he wasn’t interested in him because of the failure of a pitcher from Florida if there were no similarities between them other than they were from the United States?

No. It would be seen as ludicrous and they wouldn’t be in their jobs for very long.

But that’s exactly the argument given when the Yankees–for example—are said to have been stung by Irabu and Igawa and weren’t going to go crazy for Darvish because of those pitchers.

Irabu was a pet project of George Steinbrenner who forced his way to the Yankees; he was hyped incessantly and the expectations were so stifling that no one could’ve lived up to them; Irabu had talent, but he needed to be allowed to grow accustomed to the big leagues without pressure from the media and ownership if he wasn’t spectacular immediately.

Igawa was a response by the Yankees to the Red Sox getting Matsuzaka. I’m convinced that they heard his name, maybe—maybe—looked at his stats and some tape and signed him without knowing what they were getting.

I’d hate the think the Yankees were employing talent evaluators who saw Igawa and decided to invest $46 million in him.

Yu Darvish is not Matsuzaka; he’s not Irabu; he’s not Igawa.

It’s the same thing as saying that because Francisco Cervelli and Wilson Ramos were both born in Valencia Carabobo, Venezuela that they’re the same talent and shouldn’t be viewed as anything other than that.

It’s idiotic.

Why compare Darvish to the pitchers that came over and failed? Why not compare him to Hiroki Kuroda? To Takashi Saito? To other Far Eastern players Chien-Ming Wang and Chan Ho Park? Pitchers who’ve done well?

His pitching has nothing in common with them either, but at least they were good.

Staying away from Darvish makes sense if that’s what scouts and financial freedom say is the smart thing to do, but to dismiss him because of his Japanese League pedigree is stereotypical stupidity at its lowest.

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10 thoughts on “Stereotypical Stupidity and Yu Darvish

  1. Amen brother. I was actually going to write a very similar article on my blog about this, but I do not feel the need to anymore. Nobody complains about all the American pitchers, who have needed Tommy John surgery. Maybe the Japanese are weary about taking Americans in, because we destroy all of their arms.

    1. The entire logic of the argument that because he’s Japanese and is a big risk due to that is ludicrous. There are reasons to steer clear, but that’s not one of them.

  2. If they were legitimately concerned that he wouldn’t transition well, fair enough. If they examined the past successes and failures of big name pitchers who came over from Japan—Daisuke Matsuzaka, Hideki Irabu and even Kei Igawa—and decided the risk wasn’t worth the reward, I won’t quibble.

    But if teams came up with the simplistic argument that because Darvish is coming over from Japan and the aforementioned pitchers were disappointing that he wasn’t worth a serious look, it’s a ridiculous and illogical case doomed to haunt those who, like me, believe strongly in Darvish’s potential.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Paragraph 1 and 2 are saying almost the same thing. Except for the poor sentence structure of paragraph 2 where you don’t really indicate what case will be haunting you. I am sorry that you will be haunted, nobody wants that, but I’m not really following the logic of your article.

    1. Your credentials to be critiquing my sentence structure are unclear; my logic is perfectly stated.
      Nowhere did I say I’d be haunted by anything. I have said repeatedly that I believe strongly in Darvish’s potential and that there’s no connection between him and other pitchers—good or bad—whom clubs are using their reluctance to bid on him as a basis for that decision.
      If teams are avoiding a bid and pursuit because of his status as a Japanese pitcher and for no other reason and he comes to North America and is a success, that will haunt them because it’s a mistake.
      My argument is that the out-of-hand dismissal based on him being Japanese is absurd. Because it is.
      Your failure to follow my logic is not my concern; your critique is taken under advisement and disregarded.

      1. You started a paragraph with a conjunction. I don’t recall ever having seen that before (actually you do it again, so now I’ve seen it twice). You also did imply that you are going to be haunted. Focus just on this part of your sentence, “doomed to haunt those who, like me”. You are clearly saying people are going to be haunted, and you are also saying that you are like those people who are going to be haunted, so it’s not a great logical leap of faith required to deduce that you too, are do for some haunting.

        The paragraph is also a run-on sentence (even allowing that the first bit deserves it’s own paragraph). There should be a period after “look”. There’s a bunch of other small issues, like paragraphs that shouldn’t be paragraphs, using hyphens instead of commas and the seemingly random placing of a semi-colon after one clause. Obviously you should write the way that you like to, but departing from common practice so frequently does make it less readable to many.

        I was also a bit puzzled by the reported lack of high dollar bids on Darvish. It may be that the teams have more information about how much he wants to be paid than we know. If he won’t sing for less than a 6 year $100 million contract, is it a slam dunk that the Yankees (or whomever) should have bid $60 million for the right to give him that deal?

      2. Your pedantic and inexplicably pompous attempt to teach me English are right out of an elementary school textbook where there are “rules” that should never be broken. If you read any newspaper, it’s no longer sacrosanct that a sentence isn’t supposed to be started with a conjunction “and”, “but”, “or” and the like.
        You can analyze what I wrote in any way you choose. Yet (oh look, I did it again) no one other than you seemed to have an issue grasping what I was saying in exactly the way I intended to say it.
        If it’s less readable to “many” (did you take a poll?), then I have a simple solution: don’t read it.
        Or if it’s less readable to you—which is obvious from your harping on it—you don’t have to read it either.
        The dollar bids are secondary to the PR hit that the team that wins the bidding would face if Darvish doesn’t sign; following the high-profile failures of Daisuke Matsuzaka among others, teams are clearly reluctant to drop an automatic $50 million just to negotiate with a player who might not be able to live up to the money—money they won’t get back.
        The culture is also in play; for him to be posted and have $51.7 million as the fee for his rights and then to go back to Japan after turning down what will undoubtedly be a lucrative offer, he could be shamed in the eyes of his countrymen.
        He wants to come to North America.
        But (conjunction) perhaps your suggestion is accurate—he won’t sing!
        I’d sing for 6-years at $100 million; I’d sing for $50 million, but maybe Darvish wouldn’t. It’s a personal choice. Just like reading and self-importantly commenting on my site as if you’re in a position to be critiquing me to begin with.

    1. Thanks.
      I don’t mind people having a go at me—I’ll fight about anything—but my sentence structure? Especially when there was nothing unclear about what I wrote?
      Weak.

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