"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

King of Style


Well, okay then:

A Japan Airlines Boeing 787 Dreamliner, capable of carrying nearly 200 people up to 7,850 nautical miles, touched down at Kennedy International Airport on Sunday afternoon with only six passengers, including an ace pitcher, his pop star wife, a personal manager and a toy poodle named Haru.

The unusual flight manifest was not a joke, but the grand entrance of Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees’ flamboyant Japanese pitcher who put his newfound dollars to immediate use.

Eager to avoid a snowstorm and arrive in New York in time for his introductory news conference Tuesday, Tanaka rented the plane from JAL for an estimated $200,000. Not even Reggie Jackson made such a colorful entrance to New York when he signed as a free agent with the Yankees in November 1976.

It is unclear whether Haru had his own seat, but there were nearly 200 empty ones from which to choose.

(David Waldstein, N.Y. Times)

Categories:  1: Featured  Spring Training  Yankees

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1 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 11, 2014 10:00 am

I love everything about this

2 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Feb 11, 2014 10:25 am

Put this in context. A first class ticket costs about $20k per person RT. That's 80 grand for 4 (plus whatever they charge for the dog). Spending 2 1/2 times that ain't so outrageous for a gazillionaire

3 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 11, 2014 10:41 am

If he had a better sense of American show business, he would have parachuted from the Dreamliner with the pop star and the poodle in one arm, and landed on the mound at the Stadium ready to pitch.

4 rbj   ~  Feb 11, 2014 11:03 am

[3] Don't forget the fireworks.

Hey, if you can afford it, it's a great way to avoid crying babies.

5 GaryfromChevyChase   ~  Feb 11, 2014 11:18 am

Just noticed that it was 6 passengers - that's 120k RT.
Whatta deal!

6 RagingTartabull   ~  Feb 11, 2014 11:37 am
7 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 11, 2014 1:11 pm

He's being introduced now live on YES.
I'd ask if he knows the Japanese word for chutzpah.

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 11, 2014 1:24 pm

Wearing #19 (deferring the traditional Japanese ace number 18 to Kuroda), Tanka said in broken English, "I'm very happy to be Yankee."
That was the extent of his opening statement. First question was about adjusting to the larger ball in the U.S., and he said, via translator , "It is very important to me to make that adjustment."
In any language, he's no soundbite machine. He's got a confident and professional vibe, and looks like a big strong kid in pinstripes.

9 Sliced Bread   ~  Feb 11, 2014 1:47 pm

Introduction over. Now Tanaka's doing one-on-ones with who knows how many outlets.
Not too many highlights from his first press conference. His responses were all succinct.
His ultimate goal is "to win a World Championship."
He's watched the Yankees Red Sox games on TV, and says he's looking forward to playing in such a tense environment.
He ended with this about playing in New York:
"I've heard this place can be very harsh to you at times, just wanted, though to put myself in this environment, and try to see where I can get with my abilities."

11 Greg G   ~  Feb 11, 2014 4:34 pm

I heard Tanaka was doing fielding drills and practicing covering 1st base the whole flight.

He doesn't want to get called a "Big fat pussy toad."

12 Simone   ~  Feb 11, 2014 5:19 pm

Very stylish arrival. George would approve. Tanaka will fit right in with the Yankees. I like his little dog.

13 knuckles   ~  Feb 12, 2014 1:31 pm

Hopefully he'll live up to his uniform number and throw a no-no on the Fourth of July.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver