At the time with the best record in baseball and seemingly playing as a team on a mission, the Los Angeles Dodgers made a huge splash at the July 31 trade deadline during the 2017 season by acquiring Yu Darvish from the Texas Rangers.
Darvish had been mired in a bit of an inconsistent stretch, but his talent and upside eased any concern. Furthermore, the Dodgers were in position to allow Darvish to iron out his struggles over the remaining two months of the regular season.
Sure enough, the right-hander was dominant by October — at least up until facing the Houston Astros in the World Series. Darvish’s struggles were attributed to pitch-tipping in the immediate aftermath of the Astros defeating the Dodgers in seven games.
Years later, however, the Astros are facing allegations of sign stealing with the assistance of electronic devices — which would be considered unethical cheating and a clear violation of MLB rules. Naturally, it’s brought Darvish’s trouble in the World Series back into the spotlight.
He candidly has reflected on that time in his career and in doing so shared a belief the Astros’ purported impropriety ultimately did not impact the outcome of the 2017 World Series, per Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times:
“If you ask me if I got hit in Game 7 because they stole signs, I don’t think so,” he said. “The Astros have great players who don’t have to do that. So I think that whether or not they stole signs, the results wouldn’t have changed.”
Darvish additionally explained those low points in his career have served him well:
“I feel that if I absolve myself and say it was the Astros’ fault I was bad in game 7, in the World Series, I can’t develop as a person,” he said. “In life, I think hug failures are extremely important. I’ve had a few up to this point. The World Series was one of them. I think it will remain a point of reference for me. I’ve already learned a lot from it. So regarding that, I can’t view myself charitably. I thik I have to continue to accept the results.”
As MLB has launched an investigation, Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has joined Darvish in not attributing the loss to Houston’s alleged cheating. Though, Friedman did acknowledge the Dodgers were mindful of whispers of the possibility.
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