Chicago Cubs: Yu Darvish feels hated by Cubs fans

(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs made a splash when they landed prized free-agent Yu Darvish this past off-season. Now, on his second DL stint of the season and sitting on a near five ERA, Darvish feels vilified by Cubs nation.

The final play of the 2016 World Series set something in motion between Cubs fans. The drought was over. Anthony Rizzo raised his arms in jubilation. The world was right again in Chicago. The attitude was different.

As the Wrigley faithful are more than aware, baseball is much more fun when your team is winning. Cubs fans also know how for many years they were referred around Major League Baseball as the ‘lovable losers.’ That attitude, however, has changed for the worst.

What have you done for me lately?

The talk of a potential dynasty following the Cubs championship was something of a reality. The team is young, with an excellent starting rotation, and fantastic leadership. It became apparent however last year how difficult it would be to repeat as the champions of baseball.

The Cubs found themselves 5 1/2 games behind the Milwaukee Brewers at the All-Star break, and chaos reigned in Chicago. Okay, a bit hyperbolic, but everyone gets the point. Cubs fans have found themselves now living and dying on every games hill for the past two seasons. It has become exponentially worse.

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What do they do now?

An air of hubris reared its ugly head as many fans seemingly now have an unrealistic expected perfection for this team. The fact of that matter is, that is impossible. The attitude has carried into this season as well.

The Cubs currently sit behind the Brewers by 4 1/2 games. Seemingly, the same spot as last year at this time. Another inconsistent start has begun to flip this fanbase upside once again down.

That inconsistency has created a cyclical effect among Cubs faithful. At times when the team is losing or has lost, the world is falling. The good times, when the team is winning or has clinched a victory, allows for the planetary alignment in the baseball world. It has become night and day.

Now, inconsistency marred by a tough start to his Cubs tenure, Yu Darvish has become the next in the ‘line of blame’ from fans, and it is not good.

The struggles of Yu

The official announcement of Yu Darvish signing with the Cubs brought with it a prideful expectation for the next “ace” of the Cubs rotation. Cubs fans became excited at landing the big fish in the lake of free-agency. Something fans did not come to expect amidst the excitement, would be that relatively soon after the season began, many of them would feel immense anger toward Darvish.

It became almost apparent how much pressure Yu Darvish had to handle. Landing a mega-deal with the Chicago Cubs should have felt like a dream came true. That, however, has yet to surface in the first couple of months of a six-year contract for Darvish.

And on another note…

On his second DL stint of the season, Darvish is currently dealing with triceps inflammation, but thankfully no structural damage. Reports believe Darvish will return to the team midway through June.

Currently sitting on a 1-3, 4.95 start, Darvish has averaged just 5 IP per start. Conversely, Darvish also has only three quality starts out of his eight total. Frustration has been apparent among fans for Darvish, however according to Steve Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times, it may be worse.

In a report detailing this incident out, close friend and teammate of Darvish, Chris Gimenez, says Darvish is struggling with criticisms coming from the Cubs fanbase.

Per Greenberg of the Chicago Sun-Times, according to Gimenez, he says “I think he thinks that Chicago hates him for going on the DL a couple of times.” I’ve tried to portray to him, ‘Listen, they’re going to love you when we get to October, and we’re doing things that we all want to do here, you’re the main reason we’re doing it, and we’re riding you all the way through it. So don’t worry about them getting mad at you on Twitter in May. Worry about when we get to September, October and they’re chanting your name.

Per Greenberg, again according to Gimenez, social media plays a role in attitude for Darvish as he reads Twitter and the angry and hostile comments from fans towards him. Not surprising, it is difficult for Darvish to read and see as he wants to be the best competitor and teammate he can be.

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Cubs fans need to be better

It is difficult to make a final judgment call on Darvish through just eight starts. Frustrating as it is, the general population needs to be better. Plain and simple. The World Series victory put this attitude into motion.

To live and die by each game is an exhausting thing to do. That being said, to carry constant anger, despite Darvish’ less-than-stellar start, is also an exhausting thing to do. Understanding transitions in baseball can be difficult with the expectation that they are not a big deal for players performance.

The baseball season is not a race, but a marathon. Needless to say, It is time to show our positive nature and patience with Darvish, the same patience this fan base showed so well during the epic World Series comeback. It is time to show Yu Darvish that we believe in him.