SURPRISE, ARIZ. — Inspired by former teammate Ian Kinsler’s recent characterization of Rangers GM Jon Daniels, Texas ace and serial accumulator of super-awesome pitches Yu Darvish has added what he is calling the “sleazeball” to his already impressive arsenal.
In an afternoon visit with reporters, Darvish, through his translator, explained the very nature of this unique pitch: “First, instead of covering my pitching hand with rosin, I stroll to the first row behind home plate and wipe it all over that leathery old guy who for reasons unknown to even the most perceptive of longtime observers is always sitting between those two semi-attractive strippers whose breasts appear to have been inflated at a nearby Goodyear Blimp facility.
“Next, instead of rubbing the ball with rosin, dirt and sweat, I walk to the first row behind the on-deck circle and rub it all over that guy in the Ed Hardy shirt and ripped Armani jeans, who, if my ears don’t deceive me, is telling his wife via cellphone that ‘Yeah, I’m totally in a business meeting right now, babe’ while with his other hand he is caressing the inner thigh of a statuesque brunette whose comeliness is compromised only by her conspicuous smacking of Doublemint gum.
“Then, instead of shaking off the sign from my catcher, I shake my head at the guy behind the dugout who, while facilitating an aisleway purchase of ballpark nachos, clearly palmed the tip money intended for the hard-working vendor, and who is wearing sunglasses at night.
“Next, instead of nodding at the sign from my catcher, I nod at the guy in the Ed Hardy shirt when he stands up, cocks his head, extends his arms and shouts, ‘Yo, Darvish, you wanna do sump’m ’bout it?’
“Finally, I rear back and hurl a four-seamer over the catcher’s head and into the netting in front of the leathery old guy. True, it doesn’t do much for me as a pitcher. But as a man, I like to see the guy squirm.”
John Paschal is a regular contributor to The Hardball Times and The Hardball Times Baseball Annual.