Yesterday I put up a short post about the plans in Japan to build a Yu Darvish museum. In it I made a few jokes playing off the idea that Darvish, for all of his success in Japan, has yet to create a museum-worthy track record in the United States, so it may be amusing to Americans to hear about a museum actually being built for him. I likened it to a Tuffy Rhodes or Warren Cromartie museum, two players who also saw much greater success in NPB than in the U.S.
That apparently didn’t play too well in Japan. Patrick Newman of NPB tracker forwards me an article from Sanspo, a daily Japanese sports newspaper, with the headline “Harsh words for the Darvish Museum.” Google translate does pretty poorly with Japanese, it seems, but the best I can tell is that the writer is mad at me for what directly translates to “dry coverage,” which I’m going to guess is something close to sarcasm or snark or something. There is a reference at the end to “yakkamu,” which seems to mean jealousy. Perhaps the writer is saying I’m jealous? I’m not really sure.
Sorry folks, didn’t mean to be harsh. I like Darvish. I think he’s a swell pitcher and I do appreciate how good he was in Japan. I’m simply going to take some amusement at the idea of a museum being built for someone who is only 26 no matter who he is or where he gained his fame.
And no, there is no way I’m getting into an Internet fight across languages. Even my trolling and snarking has its limits.
Brewers’ right-hander Phil Bickford received a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a drug of abuse, per the Los Angeles Times’ Bill Shaikin. This is the second time Bickford has been suspended for recreational drug use, as he was previously penalized in 2015 after testing positive for marijuana prior to the amateur draft.
Bickford was selected by the Giants in the first round of the 2015 draft and was later dealt to the Brewers for lefty reliever Will Smith at the 2016 trade deadline. He finished his 2016 campaign in High-A Brevard County, pitching to a 3.67 ERA, 10.0 K/9 rate and 5.0 BB/9 over 27 innings.
Two other suspensions were handed down on Friday, one to Toronto minor league right-hander Pedro Loficial for a positive test for metabolites of Stanozolol and one to Miami minor league outfielder Casey Soltis for a second positive test for drugs of abuse. Loficial will serve a 72-game suspension, while Soltis will serve 50 games. All three suspensions are due to start at the beginning of the 2017 season for each respective minor league team.
Brewers’ GM David Stearns issued a statement after the Commissioner’s Office announced Bickford’s suspension (via Vince Lara-Cinisomo of Baseball America):
We are very disappointed to learn of Phil’s suspension, but we fully support the Minor League Baseball Drug Prevention and Testing Program and its enforcement by the Commissioner’s Office. Phil understands he made a mistake, and we fully anticipate that he will learn from this experience.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.