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Tuesday, February 21, 2012
Daily (Yu) Darvish: Arrives in Surprise

By Richard Durrett

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Right at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish arrived on the Surprise Recreation Campus to the sound of clicking camera shutters. About 35 media members from Japan, some of them with television cameras, watched as Darvish was dropped off in the parking lot and walked toward the clubhouse.

Less than a half-hour later, the 25-year-old headed toward the back fields for a workout with a handful of players, including starting pitcher Derek Holland. Darvish wore a blue Rangers cap, blue pullover and gray pants. The back fields are closed to the media today, meaning Darvish will get the opportunity to throw on his own without the cameras watching.

Darvish did not speak to the media and isn't expected to until later this week. He drove in from Los Angeles on Monday, avoiding the cameras at the airport.

Catcher Mike Napoli arrived about 20 minutes ahead of Darvish and said he's excited to get a chance to catch Darvish at some point soon. Napoli said he wasn't surprised by the number of media members poised to follow Darvish's every move, having seen some of it when Hideki Matsui signed with the Angels, where Napoli played before joining the Rangers last season.

"I want to see what it's all about," Napoli said. "I'm hoping he's a phenom. We'll see. I can't wait to see him. I want to do my part."

Reliever Koji Uehara, the subject of trade talk the last week, saw all the media lined up and said it was a "frenzy."

"I've been talking to Yu on twitter and just told him that he has to do what he needs to do to get prepared and not worry about all the cameras," Uehara said through a translator.