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Yu Darvish or …
In the easiest decision he’ll make this season, Rangers’ manager Ron Washington tabbed ace Yu Darvish to start Texas’ Opening Day on March 31 against the Phillies in Arlington.
- Darvish Officially Gets Opening Day Nod (Feb. 25)
- Darvish-Lee Very Possible For Opening Day (Jan. 27)
- Darvish Set to be Rangers Opening Day Starter (Jan. 25)
Washington will stress this season over bunting or playing for the big inning, lefty-righty percentages over gut instincts and when to go to his bullpen, but this one was a no-brainer.
Darvish has lived up to the hype of his arrival from Japan, last year finishing second in the American League Cy Young voting after going 13-9 with a 2.83 ERA and leading baseball with 277 strikeouts. He’s a big-time talent who can handle big-game pressure.
He’s also the Rangers’ fifth Opening Day starter in five years. But at only 27, he’s got a realistic chance to earn the honor for years to come.
The Rangers’ Opening Day starters commenced with Dick Bosman in ’72 and weaved through such notables as Fergie Jenkins, Gaylord Perry, Bert Blyleven and Nolan Ryan. The all-time record of six Opening Day starts is held by old knuckleballer Charlie Hough. Kevin Millwood won the start from 2006-09, before Texas shuffled its debut deck.
In ’10 it was Scott Feldman, ’11 C.J. Wilson, ’12 Colby Lewis and last year Matt Harrison, who got shellacked down in Houston.
Darvish may not prove to be the best Opening Day starter in franchise history, but I can guarantee he won’t be the worst.
Back in ’02, anyone remember Chan Ho Park?
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently writes a sports/guy stuff blog at DFWSportatorium.com and lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.