Washington wants 'Yu to be Yu' and speak mind

Washington wants 'Yu to be Yu' and speak mind

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Ron Washington has a message for his newest high-profile player: Just be Yu.

Right-hander Yu Darvish, who made his Cactus League debut in front of 150 or so media members on Wednesday against the Padres, caused a bit of a stir after the game when he implied that San Diego's Will Venable didn't barrel up a 92-mph fastball that was hit off the wall in center field, as Venable implied.

Venable laughed it off and said, "Maybe his perception of reality is not right on."

Thursday, the Rangers manager took no issue with Darvish's postgame comments.

"I'd like for Yu to be Yu," Washington said when asked if he'd like the pitcher to demonstrate a bit more humility. "If that's Yu and that's what he feels, say it. I'm not gonna take that away from him. As far as Venable goes, he said what he felt like he had to say. And now we move on."

It's likely to be the most high-profile debut of this year's Spring Training. Darvish struck out three and allowed two hits in two innings, including Venable's second-inning double that was hit about 30 feet up the center-field wall that's located 410 feet from home plate.

"He showed some confidence in himself and that's a good thing," Washington said of Darvish. "I believe Venable knows what happened right there. He hit the ball off the center-field wall. Whether he didn't get it or not, that's up to Venable to decide."