Right-hander Yu Darvish speaks to the media twice every five days: Once after he starts a game and again two days before his next start. The latter was the case Tuesday, when perhaps the smallest band of reporters yet gathered around him outside the Rangers' clubhouse.
Late into the five-mintue session, he was asked to explain how American reporters have handled his high pitch counts and love affair with his slider compared to how that might play out had he been pitching in Japan.
He gave an honest answer, a thoughtful answer, and didn't seem to be whining or upset with how he is being handled by the media.
"Compared to the Japanese media, American media tells me what to do -- that I should throw more fastballs," Darvish said. "But I don't think the Japanese media gives you a direct order like the American media.
"As professional baseball players, we play the game on the field and not on a desk. I think we're the ones who understand the game the most."
The light-hearted follow-up question, so light-hearted that interpreter Kenji Nimura chuckled and Darvish said afterward he knew it was in jest, was, "So, we're pushy and don't know what we're talking about?"
"I'm not saying that," Darvish said. "In the span of seven games I went 0-2, but I kept my ERA steady. If I had gone 5-2, I don't think it would have been an issue."
-- Jeff Wilson