My personal rule when it comes to posting for Japanese baseball players is to never believe the first twenty rumours that you come across. The entire process is so completely shrouded in mystery that mere suggestions quickly get out of control and like a culminating snowball rolling down a ski hill end up being a bonafide avalanche of a rumour.
Fortunately for us, MLB Trade Rumors has collected a heavy snowfall of these not to be believed rumours for our gossiping pleasure.
Boiled down, we get these teams out of the running for Darvish:
- Baltimore Orioles
- Boston Red Sox
- Cincinnati Reds
- Florida Marlins
- Los Angeles Angels
- Minnesota Twins
- New York Mets
- Oakland Athletics
- San Francisco Giants
- Tampa BayRays
And we get these teams rumoured to have posted a bid:
- Chicago Cubs
- New York Yankees
- Texas Rangers
- Toronto Blue Jays
So, now we can get to the good ones. The latest from Evan “Michael Young Is The MVP” Grant suggests that the Toronto Blue Jays are the front runners (in as much as a blind auction can have a front runner), having put in a rather large bid.
The “buzz” is that Toronto had whopper of offer on Darvish. Many reasons for Jays to bid more than $50mm.
A Whopper! While it’s no Baconator or In & Out Double Double, it’s larger than a Quarter Pounder of an offer. So, until we hear of a bigger burger, we can run with that.
Truth be told, we don’t know yet who will win the Darvish bidding process, and until it’s announced, we’re likely to hear an entire drive thru menu’s worth of rumours. So, take each with a grain of salt and enjoy them for what they are, but maybe hold off on the Darvish jersey purchase for now.
Which reminds me, in all of the Darvish rumour mongering, is anyone else getting sick and tired of the sudden experts on Japanese culture? I’ve been rolling my eyes over the last month because of North American reporters making large assumptions based on their limited understanding of what things like “honour” actual mean in Japan.
So, to refute these supposed idiots, we got a Japanese friend of the blog to spend last evening reading through online reports from Japan, and sure enough they proved me to be the moron.
It turns out that Darvish is known in Japan for his conservative traditions and humility. He has a reputation for being something of a Roy Halladay-type in his homeland. This is apparently rare among other half-Japanese celebrity personalities, and he’s deeply respected for his “strict habits.”
There were plenty of rumours about his posting in the online Japanese reports, including one I hadn’t heard about his desire to play on the West Coast for the moderate temperatures and its relative proximity to home. This relates to another rumour that the Hokkaido Fighters would turn down a bid if it’s from a team for which Darvish didn’t want to play.
We got a bit of an editorial on this, suggesting that this is exactly what a Japanese team would say publicly, while privately, they’d happily accept a high bid no matter where it comes from, which goes along with what Jeff Passan and Danny Knobler suggested.
For all of the baseball rumours, there was also quite a lot of whispering having to do with Darvish’s impending divorce with the lovely Saeko. As we’ve learned from recent reports in North America, they haven’t divorced yet, but they are currently separated.
The Japanese celebrity gossip rags claim that they have had a ton of marital problems, with conflicts occurring because Darvish is such a strict conservative guy and Saeko works in the entertainment industry, where conservatism isn’t necessarily practiced. My favourite report mentioned that Saeko was such a terrible cook that Darvish stopped coming home for dinner.
At the moment, Darvish wants the divorce to proceed, but she’s refusing to sign the divorce papers, possibly in expectation of his MLB contract signing. There was also some mention of their oldest son needing major surgery because of a serious, undisclosed condition.
Well, at least there’ll be no issues caused by overwhelming media coverage in North America.