Rangers Pay For A Hurling Darvish

Bobby Curran
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Friday - January 25, 2012
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While professional sports leagues often preach the need for fiscal restraint, their participating teams often spend like lottery winners. Most recently the Texas Rangers forked over $60 million for Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish, and had to pay an additional $51.7 million posting fee to his Japanese team. He becomes the most invested in right-handed pitcher of all time, and he has yet to throw a major league pitch. And it’s not like there’s a great track record for Japanese pitchers who have jumped to the majors. Just ask the Boston Red Sox, which shelled out $103 million for Daisuke Matsuzaka, who has averaged less than 10 wins per year; or the Yankees, who paid dearly for Hideki Irabu. Neither the team nor Irabu was happy with that result.

Yes, Darvish has size (6-foot5) and a power sinker, but while his contract is guaranteed, his productivity is not.

* Nobody seems eager to give former Brewers slugger Prince Fielder his asking price. One ESPN analyst described Fielder’s timing as “unfortunate” that he may have to settle for approximately $130 million over six years. Poor man!

He may have to seek budgeting advice from Latrell Sprewell.


* I love all this talk from the BCS meeting about “protecting the integrity of the regular season.” Apparently reacting to constituents unhappy with the Alabama-LSU match, the BCS is now seriously considering the “and one” setup, which is the first step down the slippery slope to a playoff.

Now they’ve got to make sure that nobody outside the big conference schools gets any of the dough or a shot at the national championship. Still, it’s hard not to see Alabama as the best team in the country at season’s end.

* Talk about indecisive the nation’s top-rated high school QB prospect Gunner Kiel of Columbus, Ind., announced last summer that he had narrowed his list to two schools, Alabama and Oklahoma. He then committed to Indiana, changed his mind and announced Dec. 27 that he’d play for LSU only to actually enroll at Notre Dame.

At least Irish eyes were smiling. * After a handful of conference games, the UH Rainbow Warriors lead the league in a couple of meaningful categories. They have more assists and the best field goal percentage defense. Also center Vander Joaquim leads in blocked shots and Miah Ostrowski is tops in assists by more than 2.3 per game.

The Rainbow Warriors may still be a create-your-own-shot type of player away from being able to best the top teams in the country, but they are thrilling to watch and have earned a healthy respect from the rest of the league.


* Comparative scores can be a bit misleading. Check this out: Hawaii beat Clemson by 7, Clemson knocked off Florida State by 20, and Florida State whipped North Carolina by 33.

Does that mean UH is 60 points better than UNC?

As the Beach Boys famously sang, Wouldn’t it be nice?

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