Darvish wants to become “the best pitcher in the world”

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Reason I was out the past few days: trip to Texas. Reason for the trip to Texas: none of your beeswax, frankly, but know this: the entire time I was there I barely heard a single word about the Rangers. Maybe that’s because I was doing way too much of this. Hard to say.

All I know for sure is that the Rangers buzz is going to get pretty big down there pretty soon as everyone wakes up from football season and realizes just how great a race there’s going to be in the AL West this year. And a big part of that is going to be Yu Darvish.

There was a press conference in Tokyo this morning featuring Darvish. Oh, and 10,000 fans too, which tells you what kind of figure Darvish is over there. At the press conference, Darvish set his sights pretty high when explaining his move to the United States to pitch for the Texas Rangers:

“I want to become the kind of pitcher that will make people say ‘Darvish is the No. 1 pitcher in the world’ … I want to feel the thrill of pitching against the world’s best hitters. It was becoming harder to stay motivated in Japan.”

World’s best hitters, huh?  Did anyone tell him just how many games he’s going to have against the A’s, Mariners and Astros over the next several years?

Oh well, I won’t tell him if you won’t. Would hate to disappoint him.

MLBPA keeps Clark, extends executive director through 2027

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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – The Major League Baseball Players Association has voted to extend the contract of executive director Tony Clark through 2027.

The 50-year-old Clark – who had a 15-year big league career, mostly with the Tigers and Diamondbacks – helped broker the players’ current labor deal with MLB. After several contentious months of negotiations, the MLBPA and MLB agreed to the new deal in March, which saved a full 162-game season.

The MLBPA confirmed Clark’s extension on Tuesday.

The five-year extension means Clark is in position to lead the players through their next deal, too. The current contract is set to expire after the 2026 season.

Clark has had a busy last few years, helping guide the players through the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season. He also helped the union add thousands of more players after the minor leagues voted to join the MLBPA earlier this year.

The Athletic first reported the news of Clark’s extension.