Later today, the deadline for teams to put in their bids in the posting auction for Japanese phenom Yu Darvish will pass. The bidding promises to be tense and the anticipation and speculation of who will win Darvish's negotiating rights will be frenzied. The only thing more frenzied will be beat writeres and bloggers falling all over themselves to come up with the best article title playing on the fact that his first name is "Yu."
If you think it is going to be a one-time thing for Darvish, think again. No matter what he does in his career, newspapers and websites are going to squeeze every last drop of mileage out of the multitude of wordplay titles his name offers them. With word play titles alone, we should be able to predict Darvish's entire career. In fact, that is exactly what I am going to do starting... wait for it...
Blue by Yu - Why? Because the BLUE Jays are going to win the bidding for Darvish. Now, surely there is some easy Canada joke in there I'm missing, but Canadians are a clever bunch and I think they will enjoy getting the 2-for-1 pun of not just Darvish's name but also the Roy Orbison song. Oh, you crafty Canucks!
Yu Had Me at Hello - C'mon, has there ever been an easier headline to come up with for a guy's introductory press conference?
Who Are Yu? - A more contemplative theme here as the world wonders what exactly Darvish will prove capable of right before his first even big league start.
Yu Got Served - No matter what you think of Yu's potential, he is going to have an outing where he gets lit up or "served" as it were. Boom! Roasted.
Yu-phoria - LA fell in love with Hideo Nomo in his rookie season and gave birth to Nomo-mania. Toronto is bound to come down with a bad case of Yu-phoria.
Yu Talkin' to Me? - Not to disparage Yu, but almost every player has a dust up with an opposing player or manager at some point. And when he gets into a shouting match with an umpire over a tight strike zone, expect to see this title splashed all over sports pages across the land.
Yu the Man! - Considering Darvish's pedigree and notoriety, he should be an odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year and this is the odds-on favorite to be the headline celebrating his award.
The Best of Yu - Darvish has the potential to do great things, like a no-hitter for example. The headline definitely fits and is a little more professional than the obvious Seinfeld-esque "Not Hits for Yu!"
Yu Got What I Need - Darvish is going to get paid whenever he makes the leap to MLB, but his first contract will expire while he is still plenty young enough to get a rich free agent deal. And if he lives up to the hype, he is going to be the top free agent pitcher on the market, which is what every team really needs.
Forget Yu - Enjoy Yu while you can, Torontonians. When he hits free agency, all the big market teams are going to throw buckets of cash at him, making him leaving the Jays a foregone conclusion.
YU-S-A! - Let's cut to the chase. We all know Darvish will end up in America before long and we all know the Yankees have big bucks to make it happen.
Yu Can't Be Serious - We also know that NYC is not for the faint of heart. Darvish is going to have some trouble adjusting to the big spotlight and will assuredly offer some muddled explanation for why he suddenly stinks, but nobody is going to believe any such excuse.
Missing You - Oops! Turns out Yu was lying. It wasn't whatever BS excuse he offered earlier, turns out he blew out his elbow and needs Tommy John surgery that will force him to miss a whole season.
The New Yu - Considering all the money the Yanks will have tied up in Darvish, the New York media will be eager to evaluate Yu version 2.0 after he is ready to make his post-TJ surgery comeback.
Down to Yu - The real reason Yu is coming to the Yanks is to pitch for a championship. Not only will he get that chance, he will be granted the golden opportunity to make up for his pre-injury struggles by taking the mound in Game 7 of the World Series with the Yankees' championship hopes resting on his rebuilt elbow.
Yu Better Believe It! - This wordplay title is a hackneyed sportswriter's wet dream after Darvish puts forth a heroic effort to take home the title for the Bronx Bombers!
Yu Can't Take it With You - After years of a very productive career, Darvish will quietly make the hard decision to ride off into the sunset and retire from the majors, but not before one last tour with a Japanese club.
There you (or should I say "Yu) have it. Darvish's entire career boiled down to 17 not-so-clever, often obvious play on words article/blog post titles. As silly as you might think this all is, just remember you saw all these headlines of the future here first.
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