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Barring a major natural catastrophe, war or government upheaval, the vernacular news headlines for the next several months are almost certain to be dominated by baseball. Specifically, former Nippon Ham Fighters hurler, Yu Darvish, who on April 8 is scheduled take the mound in his first start for the Texas Rangers of the American League.

In his last season in Japan, the 25-year-old Darvish won 18 games and had a remarkably low earned-run average of 1.44, so he begins his U.S. career with high, perhaps unreasonably high, expectations — $107.7 million worth.

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