Chicago Cubs pitcher Yu Darvish was interested in staying with the Los Angeles Dodgers in free agency, but was worried about how his kids would be treated if he re-signed with the team. Darvish told Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that he thought school in Los Angeles would be tough for his kids because, “Their last name is Darvish.”
Why did Yu Darvish fear for his kids if he re-signed with Dodgers?
Darvish was concerned after seeing the backlash from fans after his struggles during the 2017 World Series. Darvish made two starts in the World Series. In 3 1/3 innings, Darvish posted a 21.60 ERA. He was the losing pitcher in Game 3 and Game 7.
Many Dodgers fans on social media blamed Darvish’s performance as the reason the team lost to the Astros in the World Series. They were pretty vocal about it on social media, so Darvish worried about how that would translate to the real world.
Were Dodgers fans right to blame Yu Darvish for losing the World Series?
Of course not. Fans try to scapegoat players or try to pinpoint one thing that went wrong when their team loses. It’s true that Darvish was not effective in the World Series, but he performed exceptionally well in both the NLDS and the NLCS. In those two starts, Darvish allowed just two runs in 11 1/3 innings. Without him, the Dodgers may not have made it to the World Series.
There were plenty of factors that led to the Dodgers losing the World Series. Fans could point to Corey Seager and Chris Taylor hitting .222, or Cody Bellinger hitting .143, over those seven games. They could point to Darvish as a part of it too, but he doesn’t deserve the brunt of their ire.
Dodgers fans can also admit that the Astros were an extremely talented team. There’s no shame in losing to that roster.
Darvish wanted to avoid Dodgers fans Tuesday
When the Cubs played the Dodgers on Tuesday, Darvish told Hernandez he tried his best to avoid the fans.
“I won’t go to the front of the dugout,” he said before the game. “I’ll stay in the back or in the clubhouse where fans can’t see me.”
However much he understood why fans would boo him, he didn’t want to subject himself to that kind of abuse if he could avoid it.
“When people boo you, they’re telling you, ‘We don’t like you,’” he said. “It’s not a good feeling to get that from the fans of an organization you respect so much.”
Darvish’s real return to Los Angeles might come in the postseason
Darvish will not pitch against the Dodgers during the Cubs’ June series due to an injury. The two teams do not play again in the regular season, but could meet in the playoffs. Darvish believes the reception he’ll get then will be worse, as the fans will have had almost a full year to build up their frustrations with him.
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Chris Cwik is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @Chris_Cwik
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