Touch 'Em All: Rangers' Yu Darvish: I'm no all-star

Posted: June 30, 2012

Looks like Japanese import Yu Darvish is feeling a bit of culture shock.

On Friday, the Texas Rangers ace, in his first year in the major leagues after seven standout seasons in the land of the Rising Sun, said he's "not worthy" of even being named for the All-Star Game, let alone starting for the American League in Kansas City on July 10. (The selection show is on Sunday, check your local listings.)

Darvish, who was a five-time all-star and two-time Pacific League MVP, is tied for the AL lead with 10 wins. The 25-year-old righthander has 106 strikeouts and 50 walks in 952/3 innings, with 3.57 ERA.

They may do things differently in Japan, but with those kinds of numbers (and a $107 million contract) an athlete in this country is expected to be scheduling a reality TV special to follow him as the announcement is made, sending a taunting tweet, then heading out to the club with a bad-boy singer's entourage to get clunked by a bottle in a fight.

Oh, well - Darvish still has time to learn the mores of sports stardom (after all, he was once caught smoking in a pachinko parlor).

Toronto's for the birds

Here's what the Rogers Centre fans saw Thursday:

Millville marvel Mike Trout and fellow Angels Mark Trumbo and Alberto Callaspo all homering in Los Angeles' 9-7 win over Toronto. Trout going 2 for 5 to raise his American League-leading average to .345. For their own side, Jose Bautista hitting a 455-foot, three-run homer in a fifth-inning rally.

Here's what got the biggest cheer: A pigeon walking across the field between the mound and home plate with Callaspo at the plate in the top of the fifth. Seriously. The game had to be halted.

Well, they did used to play in a stadium crowded with gulls, and the team is named for another feathered friend - it's only natural that ornithology rule.

Coming to America

The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban defector Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million contract on Friday. The 21-year-old outfielder, who is waiting for a visa in Mexico City, hasn't played competitive baseball in about a year, but hit .330 with 17 homers for Cienfuegos in 2010-11.

Marcel Marceau, 2B

Without time for a full warm-up at Yankee Stadium Thursday, the Chicago White Sox went through an old-time "shadow ball" infield drill, going through the motions, minus a ball. Such comic mime routines were a 1920s and 1930s staple in the majors and Negro Leagues.

"Guys had fun," said coach Joe McEwin. "Maybe in July or August, when it gets hot, we'll break out the ball - or not break it out."

Contact Michael Harrington at

This article contains information from the AP.


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