Much was made of Yu Darvish’s spectacular Spring start yesterday. Getting Blanked covered it with bated breath, as did just about every other media outlet on Earth. The consensus opinion was Darvish was dominant and will win multiple Cy Young awards, if not all the awards handed out between now and the end of his career.
Will Venable was the only Padres hitter to really touch one of Darvish’s divine offerings, banging a long double off the center field fence. After Darvish (through his interpretor) noted the ball might have been a little windblown, Venable went on the offensive.
After dropping the “maybe his perception of reality isn’t right on” gold in a post-game scrum, Venable clammed up – briefly. He then took to the Padres flagship radio station to vent at more length about Yu’s less than humble comments (audio here).
“I think the wind saved it from being a home run,” Venable said. “I also heard that he didn’t think I hit it squarely. If that’s the case, I don’t think anyone has squared off a ball off of him. That’s as well as I could hit a ball, to be honest. I don’t know if something was lost in translation there.
“I would have liked to hear a little more humility from the guy. To each his own. He’s a confident guy. Of course I didn’t square up a ball because he’s Yu Darvish.”
Shots fired! Venable does have a point; he barrelled the crap out of that ball. It feels a little sleazy to try and nail a player to his words when, as Venable suggested, they are translated through another guy. Then again, the gist of the statement suggests “bombs away!” isn’t entirely out of line.
Credit to Venable for showing some moxie by not genuflecting before the anointed son of the baseball world. He stood in against the Next Big Thing and stung a ball into the teeth of the wind. If not for a very high fence in center, he would be a tiny footnote in history – the first Major Leaguer to take Yu Darvish deep in a game that meant squat.
Instead, he’s an even smaller footnote in history – the first guy to take exception to the nonstop tongue bathing of one Mister Yu Darvish. Something for their respective Cooperstown plaques.