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ESPN Dallas guy says Yu Darvish should pitch through elbow pain

Aug 21, 2014, 9:31 AM EDT

yu darvish getty Getty Images

Richard Durrett is truly missed today.

This is what happens when you devote a website to, in all reality, covering the Dallas Cowboys but have extra capacity and force your football dudes to write about baseball. From ESPN

This is a critical week for the Rangers in terms of where they stand with ace Yu Darvish. At some point he should throw a bullpen session.

It doesn’t have to occur today or tomorrow, but he needs to throw sometime . . . Darvish needs to show the club he can pitch through some discomfort, especially if games are meaningful . . . Darvish should let the club have more control over what’s needed for him. He needs to have better communication with the front office and the manager to make things smoother. He just decided it was best to head to the DL, and it raised questions regarding his commitment to the club.

That’s from Calvin Watkins, whose bio says he has “covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.” Baseball is not mentioned. Not really surprising given the content.

To be fair to him, he does offer a Ron Washington quote that, at least on the surface, supports the idea that Darvish should pitch sooner rather than later. But it also spends a lot of time with the false equivalence of a position player dealing with aches and pains and a franchise pitcher dealing with elbow inflammation. It also is based on the false premise that Darvish, and not the the Rangers front office, training staff and coaching staff, determines when he goes on the disabled list and when he does not. Oh, another false premise: that the Rangers games mean anything at this point in the season.

How one can cover baseball for a living and not note the epidemic of pitcher injuries and the importance of keeping a guy like Darvish healthy in the long term is a mystery to me.  Oh wait: this guy does not typically cover baseball for a living. That’s right.

(h/t Adam from Lonestar Ball)

  1. aboutamoo - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    “Darvish needs to show the club he can pitch through some discomfort, especially if games are meaningful.”

    The Rangers are 49-77. They won’t play a meaningful game until next April.

    • The Dangerous Mabry - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:42 AM

      To be fair, that’s equivalent to what…5-7? 5-8? for a football team, and a football team with that record would have a reasonable shot at winning a few games and making the playoffs. So maybe he figures there’s a good chance the Rangers just rattle off 40 wins in a row and get back into the picture.

      • carpi2 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:08 PM

        You’re probably right. He’s a football guy. He must look at all sport situations through a football lens. He, thus, is unable to appreciate the differences between sports. Which, sounds like your typical Texan.

  2. Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:43 AM


    Why the hell is a soccer guy writing for Yu-san anyways?

    • renaado - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      It’s American Football… NFL in short. In other words, it’s Rugby with armor.

      • Ayase Yano (綾瀬市 矢野) - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:51 AM

        What a wide wild world out there.

  3. greej1938l - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:49 AM

    Hmm knocking another another journalists work….stay classy Craig

    • Craig Calcaterra - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:55 AM

      You’re new here, aren’t you?

    • Paper Lions - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM

      Well, when a “journalist” says something so obviously stupid what do you recommend as a response?

    • zengreaser - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:21 AM

      I used to get rankled by Craig too, but he’s become one of my favorite baseball writers – even when he trolls my Phillies. Besides, he’s spot on for calling out a writer who is basically saying one of the best pitchers in the game should risk his long-term health during a lost season. If you are going to get on Craig, you gotta pick a better article. Or just do what I did… HardballTalk: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Craig Calcaterra

      • chinahand11 - Aug 21, 2014 at 2:13 PM

        Craig is the man. And while I’m at it, is this Calvin Watkins an M.D. and when did he last examine Yu-san to be able to say he should be on the field? And isn’t Watkins giving away privileged healthcare information when he says that? Oh, these sneaky “journalists.”

      • stevietimmy - Aug 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM

        You mean, he is a blogger. As he likes to at times hide behind that label when it comes to his content, we should then apply it consistently.

      • jwbiii - Aug 23, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        You’re right. Watkins’ post says “blog” right in the link.

    • 76ersdoubletank - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:59 AM

      I love it when Craig trolls hard on these “journalists”.

  4. beefytrout - Aug 21, 2014 at 9:53 AM

    You should read Watkins’ article from August 14th, where he openly questions Darvish’s dedication and suggests he doesn’t have what it takes to pitch in Major League Baseball. And, of course, he wonders why Darvish would sit at all right now since he’s had elbow discomfort in the past and it was “no big deal.”

  5. smackingfools - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:03 AM

    Surely Yu can make up that 30 games under .500 record before the season ends.

  6. rbj1 - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    Let’s see, morning standings. Currently the Rangers are in last place (behind even Houston) 26.5 games out of first place, 20 games out of the wild card — last place even there.

    So yeah, no meaningful games for them. Shut Darvish down for the year, and start planning for 2015.

  7. sisisisisisisi - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:04 AM

    A lot of the writers for ESNDallas used to be with the Dallas Morning News, Richard Durrett, Calvin Watkins, Tim McMahon, Todd Archer, Jean-Jacques Taylor, etc.

    With the passing of Richard Durrett in June 2014, it seems like Calvin Watkins has transitioned from the ESPNDallas Cowboys Blog to the Rangers Blog. They all are involved with all the blogs, i.e. Mavericks, Stars, Rangers, Cowboys, and more.

    From the DMN bio …. Calvin covers SMU and TCU. New York born and bred, he will defend his New York sports teams with a passion. He follows all sports, especially the pros. Calvin lives in Frisco with his lovely wife, Denise, and three kids. He also lives with his wife’s cat, Simba, who likes to snuggle when Calvin takes his afternoon nap.

    Compared to ESPNLA where the Angels hardly has any writers for its Blog, Dallas is lucky to have some of these writers.

    • sisisisisisisi - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:14 AM

      Former DMS columnist Skip Bayless

    • djpostl - Aug 21, 2014 at 12:54 PM

      “He follows all sports, especially the pros.”

      Clearly not MLB this year or he wouldn’t even think about, let alone write/say, Darvish should pitch through pain in his elbow in a season where therey sit 20 GB in the wild card hunt lol.

  8. circuscatch22 - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:20 AM

    Calvin Watkins is filling in until ESPN Dallas can find a person to take Richard Durrett’s spot. I can’t even say replace because let’s face it, no one can take Richard Durrett’s spot.

    The Rangers should probably just go on ahead and shut Darvish down for the season. It’s clearly a lost season at 49 and 77. No need to rush Darvish back and cause any more damage that could keep him out the entire 2015 season.

    It’s less beneficial for a pitcher to pitch through aches and pains than it is an every day position player.

  9. trbmb - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:39 AM

    Someone who works for ESPN and specializes in Football is someone who has the right answer always. I do neither so I am clearly wrong about that.

  10. historiophiliac - Aug 21, 2014 at 10:48 AM

    Baseball Town!

  11. karlkolchak - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    This has been your “Rob Dibble” moment for today.

  12. luz56 - Aug 21, 2014 at 11:54 AM

    Great quote from Derek Hall from Arizona Diamondbacks… Today’s sports writers create drama and false hoods when there isn’t any

    • stevietimmy - Aug 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

      You can even drop the word “sports.” It is 24/7 sensationalism no matter the medium.

      • carpi2 - Aug 22, 2014 at 3:26 PM

        Too true. Very few outlets actually report the news. Their aim is to trigger an emotional response and tell you how you should feel about a topic.

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