Dodgers: Yu Darvish has kind message to LAD fans before return as Padre


Yu Darvish has been back to the scene of the embarrassment several times since taking the mound for the Dodgers in Game 7 of the 2017 World Series.

He’s returned to Hollywood. He’s heard the fans’ jeers and curt remembrances of a do-or-die contest that went off the rails quickly, extending a devastating streak of playoff failure for another year.

He’s never done so under these circumstances, though.

Darvish has been back in a Cubs jersey, sure. But he’s never worn Padres pinstripes at Dodger Stadium, and he’s certainly never visited at this heightened a time in a newly-formed rivalry.

He’s also never been back to face the Dodgers as reigning champions, which surely has lessened some of the title anxiety which he helped foster three and a half years ago.

Ahead of his return to that fabled mound (this time while wearing brown), Darvish spoke to Dodgers beat writer Dylan Hernandez, and had a message of inclusion for the fans who seem likely to boo him regardless.

Yu Darvish would welcome the boos of Dodgers fans.

Darvish hasn’t distanced himself from the Dodgers over the years, and has continued his relationship with Clayton Kershaw into independent training sessions.

We applaud the ace for not only not bristling at the ire that could be coming from the fans in the bleachers, but accepting and embracing the full force of it.

After all, if we’d experienced anything like the full gamut of emotions Darvish went through during the 2017 World Series, we’d probably still be running from the memory.

His Game 3 loss included an offensive gesture in the dugout from Yuli Gurriel, which somehow didn’t karmically swing the series in the Dodgers’ favor. When Darvish took the mound in Game 7 at “home,” he couldn’t make it through two innings, surrendering four earned runs and handing the Astros their tainted victory.

Hopefully, Dodgers-Padres becomes a more fruitful and grounded rivalry for both sides than Dodgers-Astros ever was. Mutual respect with a hint of true malice is what we’re looking for here, so Darvish can expect to hear boos, though ideally of the educated variety this weekend.

He’ll start Friday night under the lights against Kershaw to kick off this new chapter.