Hamilton excited to see what Darvish brings
ARLINGTON, Texas — The biggest name the Texas Rangers had until Friday night showed up for the Yu Darvish press conference.
Outfielder Josh Hamilton came away very impressed with what he saw out of his newest teammate, who has an international following.
"I know he's going to enjoy playing here in Texas," said Hamilton, who was the lone Ranger at the event. "I know he's going to enjoy having the bats we do in the lineup to give him some run support. I think he'll have a great time here. He's going to fit in the clubhouse. We'll make sure of that. He's going to love it here."
Hamilton had no idea what to expect from the press conference, where he was in the front row sitting near team owners Ray Davis and Bob Simpson. He has more of an appreciation now for how important baseball is in Japan.
"It's pretty special," he said. "It just lets you know how much the Japanese culture appreciates baseball, appreciates athletes. They want to follow him and see him do well. I think we're going to have to get used to this. It's going to be like this most of the year."
Darvish said he wasn't putting any pressure on himself because of the lofty expectations so many people have after he signed a six-year, $60-million deal.
Hamilton, who met with Darvish when he visiting the Metroplex in January, thinks that's the right approach to take.
"He has confidence in his ability and all the things he does as a player," Hamilton said. "Expectations, just like any good athlete, you put more expectations on yourself than you allow anybody else to. That way if you come up a little short you still have a good season. If not, you've had a great season."
While Darvish was the center of attention, Hamilton's name also came up. Simpson said he'd prefer locking up Hamilton long term rather than going after free agent first baseman Prince Fielder. Hamilton can be a free agent following the 2012 season. He said if the club wants to talk about a new contract, he wants it to get done either before spring training starts or after the season is over.