Either something was lost in the translation, or Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish already is practicing the American art of damage control.
Darvish’s agent, Don Nomura, attempted on Thursday to clarify the pitcher’s comments on a booming double by the San Diego Padres’ Wil Venable the day before.
Darvish, speaking through an interpreter after his spring debut for the Texas Rangers, caused a stir by appearing to dismiss Venable’s double off the center-field wall, citing the wind and dry air.
According to Nomura, Darvish meant to say – and tweeted in Japanese - “I didn’t think he hit it that far, but he sure has lots of power.”
The confusion perhaps was understandable.
The Japanese language, according to Brad Lefton, a bi-lingual American journalist, has “a vagueness unknown in English. It’s simply part of the culture to say things that have subjects and objects left open to interpretation.”
Lefton interpreted Darvish’s tweet as, “I didn’t think he got good wood on it, but it carried further than I thought it would. He’s a strong guy.”
Venable seemed taken aback when informed after the game of Darvish’s initial remarks, “I squared it up pretty good – he was lucky it didn’t go out.”
Later, Venable added, “Wow. Maybe his perception of reality isn’t as right on . . . no comment.”
Well, it turns out Darvish meant no slight, at least according to his follow-up tweet.