Saturday, August 5, 2017

Asians and Asian American key to Dodgers drive to World Series

Dodgers general manager Frahan Zaidi

WITH THE addition of another ace, the L.A. Dodgers could be baseball's equivalent to the NBA's Warriors when Golden State added superstar Kevin Durant to a starting lineup that already had three all-stars.

The Dodgers were already among the best teams in Major League Baseball this season when they added Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish to their pitching rotation. The trade sent shockwaves throughout baseball. Aside from it being pushed through just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, the team with the best record in baseball added an ace to a starting rotation that boasted the best ERA.

Adding Davish will give the Dodgers three Asian pitchers as starters, He'll be joing a staff with Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenta Maeda.

At the center of the dramatic, last-minute deal is Dodgers general manager Frahan Zaidi, a Canadian of Pakistani descent, who grew up in the Philippines and was educated in the United States.

Before Darvish began his first start as a Dodger, he met with Zaidi, the man who engineered the blockbuster deal with the Rangers that brought the electric right-hander to Los Angeles minutes before the non-waiver Trade Deadline.

Former Rangers' ace Yu Darvish in Dodger blue.
Darvish and Zaidi went over how the right-handed hurler would attack the Mets' hitters in his first start with his new team. They discussed pitch location and selection, how Darvish could best use his vast arsenal. 

At night's end, against the Mets, Darvish went seven scoreless innings allowing only three hits. His win in his debut puts the boys in blue at 77-32, 45 games over .500 and on their way to breaking their 29-year world series drought.

"He adds another ace, in my opinion," said Mets' star Jay Bruce. "He's going to be right there when the bell rings. He's one of the best pitchers in the game and they just added him. It doesn't make for an easy lineup of pitchers to go through."

"One of the things that's made him so effective is his assortment of pitches," Zaidi said. "The fastball, the ability to reach 95, 96, 97 mph, the ability to kind of take something off. He's got a couple really good off-speed pitches and a couple really good breaking balls.

"Coming to a new league, I think there's going to be an adjustment period on the part of the National League and that will really be an advantage for him," said Zaidi.

Darvish becomes the seventh Japan-born pitcher for the Dodgers, who already have right-handed starter Maeda. The best known of Japanese Dodger was Hideo Nomo, who started the All-Star game in his rookie year.