Japan has won the past two World Baseball Classic tournaments, and in the most recent one it was in large thanks to Yu Darvish, who was still dominating the Nippon Baseball League back then.
Now, of course, he's a Texas Ranger and is expected to be the club's ace in 2013 after he burst onto the American baseball scene this past season.
On Tuesday, Darvish announced he would skip the upcoming World Baseball Classic to focus more on becoming a better pitcher for the Rangers, which should be exactly what Rangers fans wanted to hear.
"Given my substantial workload over the last few seasons and the numerous changes I've endured in my move to the United States, I have decided with my team of advisers that getting ample rest is the most important thing for me right now as I prepare for the 2013 season," Darvish said in a statement. "My ultimate goal is to help win a World Series with the Texas Rangers and to share that accomplishment with the great baseball fans in Japan."
I'm Japanese baseball fans will be bummed that the rock star of their country in baseball will be sitting this one out, but it's good that Darvish isn't pressured by that weight on his shoulders and knows what he is now, which is an up and coming pitcher in MLB with the potential to be one of the game's greats.