If we have learned one thing this off season it’s that Yu Darvish really cares about what is said about him on Twitter.
You may remember the #fakenews tweet that went viral after Barstool Carl reported that Darvish to the Cubs was a done deal. For now, that did turn out to be a false report, but Darvish might still be considering the Cubs, as we learned last night.
Here’s how it all went down. Max Wildstein tweeted about a report from Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, saying “Yu Darvish has reportedly narrowed down his potential landing [spots] to Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros and Twins.” Darvish then quote tweeted the tweet… twice.
There are a few takeaways from this. Darvish obviously cares — or is at least interested — in what is said about him on the internet. Because he wasn’t tagged in the tweet, he searched his name to find out what was being said about him. Of course there is the possibility that someone else tagged him in a thread with the tweet, and then he felt the need to respond, but either way it shows Darvish cares, and for a professional athlete that may not be a good thing. Darvish could have also been trolling because he does seem to have a good sense of humor, but that can backfire quickly if he doesn’t perform on the mound.
Social media is definitely a double-edged sword for athletes. We’ve seen some guys handle it well (Brandon McCarthy and Dan Haren are two of my favorite baseball twitter follows). And we’ve seen guys not handle it well (David Price once he got to Boston). If a team is considering signing Darvish to a big contract, this is absolutely something they should be looking at.
If the Yankees are seriously making a play for Darvish, this scares me. I’m not sure how Darvish handled the media and fans in Texas and LA because I wasn’t following him too closely, but I know for sure that there will be a microscope on him if he comes to New York. Now I’m not quite sure he’ll be able to handle that.
Regardless of his off-field personality, should the Yankees even be considering Yu Darvish?
The last we saw of him he was getting his brains bashed in in the World Series. In two starts vs the Astros, Darvish lasted a grand total of 3.1 innings and gave up 8 earned runs. It was by far the worst he’s ever pitched in his career, and it came on the biggest stage in baseball. Now I’m not ready to call Darvish a choker, because he did pitch well in the NLDS and NLCS, and was good in a playoff appearance with the Rangers back in 2012. There is also the possibility that Darvish was tipping his pitches, which ARod mentioned on one of the broadcasts and an Astros player confirmed later. But the optics of it are not good because the thing fans remember most is the World Series.
Otherwise, Darvish has been a great pitcher when healthy, which is why he is going to cost a lot of money. The Yankees are trying to stay under the $197M luxury tax number in 2018, and I just do not see a scenario in which they sign Darvish unless more money (cough Jacoby Ellsbury cough) is offloaded. Furthermore, Cashman has said all winter they are looking for young and cheap pitching options. Darvish, a 31 year old free agent, does not fall in that category. Darvish would be a win-now move. Yes the Yankees are capable of winning a championship this season, but I do not think Darvish is the key to them achieving that and he will just be a hindrance to adding other players as he and his contract ages.
Finally, I want to give a shout out to Yu… because I know he’s probably reading this.
Yu Darvish is either trolling or REALLY cares about what is said about him on twitter.