darvish getty japan

Yu Darvish says he hasn’t decided on move to MLB


Most signs point to Japanese ace Yu Darvish making the jump from Nippon Professional Baseball to Major League Baseball at some point this winter.

But to hear the right-hander tell it, on a personal blog no less, he has not completely made up his mind.

And probably won’t for a couple more weeks.

From Patrick Newman of the invaluable NPB Tracker comes this translation of a Darvish-penned blog post, dated October 19, 2011:

Articles saying “Confirmed: Darvish to the Majors!” have been appearing since yesterday.

As I mentioned on Twitter

Nothing is decided!!

I haven’t decided anything for myself so nothing can be confirmed.(^_^;)

It was an article from the Kyodo News, but what did they base their writing on?

You can say this is freedom of press, but with freedom comes responsibility.

I want a press that takes responsibility.

Every year, when I haven’t decided anything, they write “Majors this, Majors that”, but then when I don’t go they just make up excuses.

How did they write lies and escape responsibility?

Well, after the entire schedule is over, I will carefully think it over!

As soon as I decide I will let everyone know(^^)v

In other words, there will be no concrete decision until after the NPB schedule has concluded (at the end of this month). And even then, the 25-year-old emoticon aficionado still has some pros and cons to weigh.

We’d guess that Darvish will eventually chase the big bucks that will be available to him on this year’s shallow major-league free agent pitching market. The Blue Jays, Rangers, Yankees and others have already done quite a bit of advanced scouting and are surely preparing bids. But there are no definites yet.

Darvish, a 6-foot-5 starter from Osaka, entered the 2011 season with a 1.81 career ERA and 9.2 career K/9 in Japan’s top league. He’s been just as good this year, even improving that already-lofty strikeout rate.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.