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Cubs’ Yu Darvish wants to know if Astros were stealing signs in 2017 World Series

In light of the recent news about the Astros using technology to steal signs, Darvish wants to know the truth about the 2017 World Series.

Astros players told Yu Darvish he was “100 percent” tipping his pitches. But now he’s questioning their honesty.
Astros players told Yu Darvish he was “100 percent” tipping his pitches. But now he’s questioning their honesty.
AP Photos

In light of the recent news about the Astros using technology to steal signs, Cubs right-hander Yu Darvish wants the truth about the 2017 World Series.

“What I really want to know is if I was tipping pitches or not,” Darvish said Friday before the opening ceremonies of the Cubs Convention. “[I want to know] if that number came from stealing signs or tipping pitches.”

Darvish had two outstanding starts in the Dodgers’ first two playoff series against the Diamondbacks and Cubs in 2017.

But during the World Series against the Astros, he unraveled — no, imploded. In Game 3, he allowed six hits and four runs in 1 ⅔ innings. Returning in Game 7, he gave up three hits and five runs in 1 ⅔ innings.

After Game 7, Astros players told Darvish he was “100 percent” tipping his pitches. But when he and the Dodgers staff went back and rewatched the film, they didn’t believe that was the case.

“Game 3 was, maybe, but after that, the Dodgers started checking my tipping pitches or whatever, but they couldn’t find it — especially Game 7,” Darvish said.

Does Darvish still believe the Astros?

“I’m not so sure,” he said.

Like Darvish, Cubs right-hander Kyle Hendricks was shocked to hear the news about the Astros, although he recognized that stealing signs isn’t new in baseball.

“There’s ways to quote-unquote ‘cheat,’ I guess, in a game with stealing signs from second, with a third-base coach trying to steal signs or something,” Hendricks said. “But when you go to the level of using electronics, there’s definitely an unfair advantage.”

Major League Baseball punished the Astros by taking away draft picks and fining the organization $5 million. General manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch also were given one-year bans from baseball before the Astros fired them both.

Though several other Cubs player were upset by the scandal, it’s not as personal to any of them like it is for Darvish, who tweeted after the punishments were announced that he’d love to participate in a 2017 Dodgers victory parade in Los Angeles.

“If that is in the works, can someone make a Yu Garbage Jersey for me?” he tweeted.

Darvish said he wasn’t frustrated personally by the revelations about the Astros but understands why other pitchers are angry.

“I’m feeling that pitchers — we are losing the strike zone, right?” he said. “The strike zone is getting smaller. They want me to [pitch] more quickly. And now the hitters are stealing signs, right? So it’s tough to pitch. So everybody would want to [make pitching] more easily.”

The Cubs are expecting big things out of Darvish this season after a dominating second-half performance in 2019. And with no major-league pitching additions this offseason, they might need more from him in 2020.

Darvish said he expects himself to pick up where he left off, and new manager David Ross said he envisions Darvish being a “better version” of himself.