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[1/27/2014] Masahiro Tanaka News and Notes

by on Jan.27, 2014 @ 9:59 pm, under MLB

Masahiro Tanaka updates from Monday, January 27, 2014.

Kansai University Graduate School Professor Katsuhiro Miyamoto believes the economic impact of Tanaka playing for the Yankees in 2014 will be 34,694,020,000 yen (between the United States and Japan).  Miyamoto estimated Darvish's impact at about 25.9 billion yen back in 2012.

Among some of the things that made it into his calculation:

  • increase in ticket sales at Yankee Stadium
  • increase in tourists from Japan
  • increase in TV sales in Japan
  • increase in merchandise sales

Source: Sponichi 1/27/2014


Tanaka attended a symposium at Edogawa University on Sunday.  Sanspo has posted portions of the talk session.

What are your thoughts on doing things for fans?

I think each player has different ideas about it.  I think taking photo, shaking hands, and signing autographs are important.  But the most important thing for a baseball player is to do their absolute best on the field.  Last year ended with the great results for the fans: a league championship and a Nippon Series.

Are there any differences in contract?

The scale [in the United States] is much larger.  Contracts are a lot more detailed.  The scale is just really different.

Were you worried when you first entered the workforce/society?

I was going to earn a living by doing something I loved.  I was not really worried about whether or not I was going to make it.  I was worried about other things, like going to a new place, meeting new people, and communicating.

Do you have anything to say to our students?

It is important to see things from different angles.  You should try to approach your goals by doing that.  You will probably make mistakes, but if you can use that to your advantage, then your mistakes do not go to waste.  Keep your focus wide and do not get stuck on one thing.

Source: Sanspo 1/27/2014

Tanaka also spoke briefly about his first NPB manager, Katsuya Nomura:

I am glad I was able to work with Nomura-kantoku after I turned pro.  I felt he had a lot of ideas about baseball.  As a player, that is a big help.

Source: Sanspo 1/27/2014


Tanaka made an appearance at AKB48's Request Hour Set List Best 200 on Sunday, after his appearance at Edogawa University.  Sanspo posted a portion of a brief interview that took place after the event.

This will be your last chance to see them.

Yes.  But I do not have a chance to watch unless it is the off-season any way.

So you will want to do well this year and watch again next off-season.

Yes, that would be right.

Would you watch if there was a concert in New York?

hahaha.  It would be during the season though, so.

What kind of expectations do you have for AKB this year?

I think there are many.  I will only be able to read information, but I will try to keep up.

Source: Sanspo 1/27/2014


The New York Daily News' Christian Red wrote an interesting article on Tanaka's transition.  A snip:

... "I think the most important thing for any Japanese player coming over here, in my experience, is that they need to have the right environment within which to succeed," says Yankees senior vice president and assistant general manager Jean Afterman. "That's really important."

... "I think what we were able to do with Matsui — in addition to him being a high-character guy with 10 years' professional experience in Japan — he selected an interpreter, Roger (Kahlon), who turned out to be a fantastic guy," says Afterman, referring to Matsui's long-time translator. "They worked so well together. And we hired somebody who (Matsui) had known in Japan, to handle the Japanese media. Tokyo is almost a larger media market than New York. Matsui grew up with the Yomiuri Giants, in the same way that Derek Jeter grew up with the Yankees. When you grow up in that spotlight, you kind of have the same developmental path."

... Certainly having two veteran Japanese players — Ichiro Suzuki and Hiroki Kuroda — already on the Yankees will help with Tanaka’s transition to the majors and the U.S. culture. Hideki Matsui never had such a luxury, although, as Afterman notes, he was a natural with the media and had great rapport with all of his teammates.

... Whiting compares Tanaka to Rangers ace Yu Darvish, in that both pitchers induce a lot of ground balls for outs, instead of relying on the heat. Whiting says that is where Kuroda can be a great asset and boost for Tanaka.

Source: New York Daily News 1/25/2014, via ZakZak 1/27/2014