One day before he’s scheduled to make his first start for the Los Angeles Dodgers, former Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish thanked his fans in North Texas.
An ad appeared in Thursday’s edition of the Dallas Morning News, in which Darvish thanked the fans that supported him during his five-and-a-half-year tenure in Texas. Morning News producer Michael Hogue wrote on Twitter that Darvish bought the full-page ad.
“Coming from Japan, I could not have adjusted to the new environment if it weren’t for all the courteous fans, teammates, team staff and all affiliates who supported me,” the ad reads.
“It is my biggest regret that I gave up 10 runs on my last outing as a Ranger.”
That final outing on July 26 was the worst of Yu’s career. He gave up 10 runs in three-and-two-thirds innings, causing his season ERA to balloon by almost half a run.
In Thursday’s ad, Darvish addressed the faction of people who questioned his pitching style.
“There were a small number of voices that said, ‘Darvish only cares about strikeouts,’” he wrote. “Although I may have had strikeouts in my mind, fans, team, teammates and team staff were always my top priority.”
Yu’s 960 strikeouts in a Rangers uniform rank fourth in the franchise’s history, and his 11.4 strikeouts-per-nine-innings figure is the franchise’s all-time best -- almost a full strikeout higher than Nolan Ryan during his tenure with Texas.
Yu is slated to start for Los Angeles Friday against the Mets in New York.
He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, meaning he could sign with any team. Neither Darvish nor GM Jon Daniels gave much of an indication, though, that a reunion in Texas was on the table during a press conference shortly after the Rangers dealt their ace.