From Comcast SportsNetSAPPORO, Japan (AP) -- Yu Darvish's desire to become the world's best pitcher prompted his decision to leave Japan and sign with the Texas Rangers. "I want to become the kind of pitcher that will make people say 'Darvish is the No. 1 pitcher in the world,'" Darvish said at a news conference on Tuesday. The 25-year-old right-hander agreed last week to a six-year contract with the Rangers guaranteeing him 56 million. Darvish had a 93-38 record with a 1.99 ERA in 167 games in the past seven seasons in Japan, where he was a two-time MVP of the Pacific League and a five-time All-Star. He led the league in strikeouts three times and ERA twice, and averaged 205 innings pitched over the last five seasons. Over 10,000 fans attended Tuesday's event at Sapporo Dome, where Darvish spent his entire professional career playing for the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters. Early in his career, Darvish said he had no desire to go to Major League Baseball, saying it would be bad for Japanese baseball if all of the top players went overseas. But after seven seasons in Japan, Darvish said he needed a new challenge. "I want to feel the thrill of pitching against the world's best hitters," Darvish said. "It was becoming harder to stay motivated in Japan." There is a lot of excitement in Texas, where fans are hoping Darvish is the missing piece that will help lift the Rangers to their first World Series title.
High School Lites is back with an action-packed Week 5 full of thrilling matchups. NBC Sports Chicago has the highlights of some of the top matchups from Friday's games.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @NBCSPREPS for all of the latest IHSA football scores and highlights.
DRIVE: Batavia (episode 5)
TEAM OF THE WEEK: South Elgin football
VIEWER'S CHOICE GAMES OF THE WEEK: Oswego East beats Plainfield South 29-0
WINTRUST ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: Vinnie Panico
FRIDAY'S TOP 25 SCORES:
(4) Homewood-Flossmoor 28 Lincoln-Way West, 14
(7) Mount Carmel 28, Marmion Academy 7
(9) Simeon 48, Perspectives 13
(10) Marist 42, Joliet Catholic 6
(11) Loyola-Academy 21, St. Ignatius 14 (OT)
(13) Oswego 49. Plainfield East 0
(15) Richards 50, Shepard 14
(17) Phillips 49, Morgan Park 0
Conant 21, (18) Barrington 12
(19) Willowbrook 20, Hinsdale South 10
(20) Naperville Central 56, Metea Valley 13
(21) Bolingbrook 35, Bradley-Bourbonnais 13
(22) Montini 29, St. Rita 13
(24) New Trier 59, Niles West 0
(25) Hillcrest 27, Lemont 7
SATURDAY'S TOP 25 GAMES
Dundee-Crown at (8) Cary-Grove
Downers Grove North at (14) Glenbard West
York at (23) Hinsdale Central
The Bears aren’t going to take the Arizona Cardinals lightly on Sunday, but Chicago isn’t expected to have too much trouble with their Week 3 opponent.
The Cardinals have scored six points through two games, shutout last week against the Los Angeles Rams. Quarterback Sam Bradford has struggled and his offensive line has been a big reason for it, making another favorable matchup for Khalil Mack to continue his strong start.
Few experts expect the Cardinals to pull off the upset, with over 90 percent of NFL prognosticators picking the Bears to win, according to NFL Pick Watch.
Analysts from CBS and MMQB as well as the analytics from FiveThirtyEight are picking against Chicago this week, while every Pro Football Focus analyst picked the Bears across the board.
The Cardinals are nearly touchdown underdogs by Las Vegas betting lines, and sportsbooks see the game as one of the lowest-scoring matchups of the weekend.
Arizona hasn’t had much offensive success this season, but with talent like David Johnson and Larry Fitzgerald, an upset is only ever a few plays away. The Cardinals defense has done well in spite of the team’s struggles, and this game won’t be a walk in the park for the Bears on the road.