Whitecaps 'ate like kings,' thanks to Cubs' Yu Darvish

Tony Paul
The Detroit News
The West Michigan Whitecaps enjoy a Ruth's Chris dinner Monday, courtesy of Yu Darvish.

It's quite customary for an established major-league veteran, while on a brief rehab assignment, to provide his minor-league brethren a fancy, tasty postgame spread.

Less common is ponying up for grub for the opposing minor-league team.

But that's exactly what Chicago Cubs superstar Yu Darvish did Monday, while pitching for the South Bend (Ind.) Cubs. He also decided to feed the opposing West Michigan Whitecaps, the Tigers' Single-A affiliate.

And, boy, were the Whitecaps thrilled.

"Oh man, it was unreal!" Tigers lefty prospect Max Green said in a text message to The Detroit News. "Total class act."

The meal came from Ruth's Chris, one of the fancier, upscale streak restaurants, and it included a heaping tray of filets, as well as a whole heap of delicious sides, like potatoes, salad and the like, as well as some tasty chocolate-chip cookies.

There was more than enough for the 24-man roster, and four-man coaching staff.

Manager Lance Parrish got word mid-game from the team trainer that Darvish was buying their dinner.

"The trainer came up to me and said, 'Yu is not only gonna buy the home team dinner, which is typical, but he was gonna extend that to the visiting side,' and he said it was Ruth's Chris," Parrish said. "I was like, 'Holy cow.'

"I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I'm sure everyone else did as well. It was quite a surprise.

"To say the least, everybody ate like a king."

Typical minor-league postgame spreads include pasta, a taco bar or barbecue, which is a lot better than even a few years ago, when frozen meals were actually common. Things have changed since organizations have put an emphasis on nutrition.

Darvish, 31, on a six-year, $126-million contract with the Cubs, was on the rehab assignment in South Bend with a right triceps injury. He pitched five innings, striking out five. He allowed three hits, one of which was a solo home run by catcher Joey Morgan.