Chicago Cubs: Will the Cubs fans grow to love me?
Misunderstood and sensitive. Thoughtful and reflective. Comes from another place and another team. Wants to do well for his new squad. Not exactly embraced and loved by who he wants to be loved by. Who are we talking about here?
Yu Darvish, signed last offseason for six years and $126 million, basically replacing Jake Arrieta in the Cubs’ rotation when Arrieta (or maybe more Scott Boras) essentially made himself unsignable until into the spring last season.
Darvish immediately became a controversial and sensitive subject for many, as his contract, injury history, and his playoff struggles with the Dodgers in 2017 made him, at best, a questionable signing. (These folks often forget the fact that he has been a really good pitcher (when healthy) or that he has had to deal with linguistic and cultural differences since coming to the United States from Japan).
If his injury history and contract weren’t an issue at the time of the signing to some fans, they quickly became an issue as Darvish was shut down in May after only eight less-than-stellar starts for the Cubs in 2018. Needless to say, the right-hander is not a fan favorite, and he really hasn’t done much of anything to get into our good graces. This could be the beginnings of a great comeback story to me.
Sounds like Darvish and Jorah Mormont have some similarities and their stories could take on similar arcs. Mormont, the disgraced Northern Lord who was sentenced to death by Ned Stark for selling poachers into slavery, seems to be a good guy caught up in some bad situations who made a couple mistakes. He has spent much of the series trying to redeem himself for his mistakes and has certainly made many strides in that area.
Most recently, he was able to overcome another supposed death sentence, when Samwell Tarly cured his greyscale at the end of this past season. And, just as the future is yet to be written with Mormont’s greyscale now being healed, so is the future for Darvish, who should begin 2019 with a clean bill of health and the ability to find some love from Cubs fans who once hated him.