Senator Chuck E. Schumer apparently helped speed up paperwork for Masahiro Tanaka's visa. From the New York Yankees official Twitter account:
Constituent services provided by @senschumer helps newest #Yankees pitcher expedite his visa. pic.twitter.com/3MvI5s5QNR
And from the Daily News' Anthony McCarron:
"My office works tirelessly to help constituents every single day, but it's not often you get a call from a constituent like the New York Yankees," Schumer said. "You see, the Yankees called me a couple of days ago to say they were worried about Masahiro Tanaka getting to spring training on time due to the length of time it can take for foreign players to get a visa.
"Foreign baseball players apply for something called a P-visa and the whole process can take up to a month; but with pitchers and catchers reporting on February 14th, it was very possible he wasn't going to make it. So I made sure we had someone go to the mailroom at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), pull his application and get it processed quickly - something I have done in the past for the Mets as well, when they had a similar issue with Jose Reyes."
Source: Daily News 1/31/2014
Tanaka arrived at Kobo Stadium around 10:45am for workouts today. He spent about two hours working with weights. He was not able to use the indoor training facilities because they were being used for something else.
Yoshiki Sato (assistant) told reporters he heard that Tanaka would be getting his visa soon, but that he would probably not rush to the United States because he still had to take care of his move.
Source: Sponichi 2/1/2014
A Sponichi reporter (with college ball experience) played catch with Tanaka on Friday. He caught about thirty baseballs. He apparently wrote his piece while experiencing a throbbing pain in the base of his left index finger.
Source: Sponichi 2/1/2014
Sanspo has posted a portion of Tanaka's conversation with the media from Friday.
How was it working out by yourself?
It felt a little strange, going from having a bunch of players around me to being the only one.
How are your adjustments going?
Everything is a first for me. It does not make sense to think too hard about it. I think I just have to do it and experience it.
Is your health the most important thing right now?
If my condition is not good, then I cannot pitch. That is where I am. It is important for me to get myself to where I can perform.
Is it difficult working out by yourself?
I am not a position player. There is not a lot of things for me to do. It is not that problematic.
Are you busy with other things as well?
I have to use my time wisely, otherwise things could get ugly. Hopefully I can get everything done with support from the people around me.
Source: Sanspo 2/1/2014