Lost in translation: Rangers weren't behind Darvish's missing passion

Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

One of the wonderful baseball writers from Japan called Thursday afternoon to warn that a quote from Yu Darvish following his disastrous start Wednesday in Game 7 of the World Series was lost in translation/interpretation.

This writer wasn't about to make any excuses for the performance of Darvish. This was to clarify what didn't quite make it from Japanese to English in the aftermath of Darvish's second lousy start in the Fall Classic for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

What came through interpreter Hide Sato made it sound as if Darvish was saying he had no passion for baseball when playing for the Texas Rangers from 2012 through July 31, but suddenly found it upon being traded Dodgers.

Here's how the quote was interpreted:

"Since I came to Major League Baseball, like last three years I've been struggling to re-find my passion for the baseball. And then I came here and I found it again. And I felt more that I can help the team to win. I started feeling more, and my passion came back and I couldn't do it. But at the same time I was able to set my goal for the next time by this experience."

Here's an accurate translation as found in the Los Angeles Times from Dylan Hernandez, who is fluent in Japanese:

"To be honest, since coming to the major leagues, my passion toward baseball had started to decrease. I was really concerned about that, especially in the last three years. (The Dodgers) gave me goals. They gave me the goal of not wanting to lose until the end. Then my goal became to perform well in the World Series."

The writer who phoned, who said that he asked the question that produced the above confusion, said that Darvish has explained in the past that he was never interested in the World Series while in Japan because his No. 1 interest was pitching in the Japan Series. Darvish also missed a season because of Tommy John surgery, and that had a clear effect on him.

But now that he has pitched in the World Series, and pitched poorly, his new motivation is to get another chance to pitch in the World Series and redeem himself.

The Rangers, Darvish said in a text message to the writer, were never the reason for his lack of passion.

Not lost in translation was how devastated Darvish was by his performance. A free agent in four days, Darvish hopes to stay in Los Angeles. He understands that his performances -- two starts, 1 2/3 innings, nine runs, two losses as the Dodgers lost the best-of-7 series to the Houston Astros -- let down his teammates, the organization and millions of fans.

"Everyone has really awful days," Darvish said, again via the LA Times translation. "When I have an awful day, what I think about is how for every awful day I've had, I've had a great day and I've added another wonderful person to my life. When I think like that, it's easier. But what I did today affected everyone on the Dodgers, so I don't know if that's going to work."

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