Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish, who helped lead Japan to a gold medal in the 2009 World Baseball Classic, has opted to skip the contest next year.
"Given my substantial workload over the last few seasons and the numerous changes I've endured in my move to the United States, I have decided with my team of advisors that getting ample rest is the most important thing for me right now as I prepare for the 2013 season," Darvish said in a statement. "My ultimate goal is to help win a World Series with the Texas Rangers and to share that accomplishment with the great baseball fans in Japan."
Darvish went 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in the 2009 WBC, earning the win in the championship game against Korea.
But Darvish has been busy since then, making the transition to the majors and a new country.
The decision not to play was a tough one for Darvish.
"This was a very difficult decision for me as it is always a tremendous honor to represent my native country of Japan," he said. "I greatly enjoy...