Saturday, November 4, 2017

Mister Hero Tanaka

Yesterday, one of you crazed commenters called him "the anti-Cano," and I couldn't agree more. Instead of dumpster-diving for a few extra coins in some craven, upper West Coast, techie-hipster rat hole, Masahiro Tanaka chose the Yankees. He chose the traffic jams, the crumbling subways, the crowded streets, the Wall Street assholes, the Knicks, the Jets, the Rangers, the corrupt politicians and the daily constipation of 8 million jerkwads crammed into a 4-million jerkwad satchel. He chose New York. To paraphrase Sally Fields, "He loves us, he really loves us." Amazing. 

This makes Tanaka the first player to publicly endorse life as a Yankee since - well - you have to go way back to the autumn of 2017, when Todd Frazier and CC Sabathia both said they'd swim the Hudson for another tour in pinstripes. Remember those days? Jeez, we took the World Series champs (and their umpire cronies) to the chopping block in a seven-game series. And they never could beat us at home. Seems like yesterday, eh?

Suddenly, I've lost my whining power. I'd like to think that - after more than 55 years of daily obsessing over the Yankees - I'm wise enough (or emotionally cratered enough) to know when things are good. And today: Things. Are. Good. Beyond Tanaka's unexpected decision - (fess up, nobody expected this) - we have once again become the franchise for which everybody wants to play, at least once in their careers. That's how Tommy John once put it: He'd seen Chicago and LA, but before he retired, he wanted to play for the Yankees, the gold standard. And you know what? I don't care if tomorrow his elbow turns to pulled pork; Tanaka wants to stay a Yankee! Also, we are a week removed from the sad but necessary firing of Joe Girardi, a change that in the long term will help everybody. Joe will land on his feet. And we will start over with a new manager, unburdened by a 10-year backwash of frustrations, many of which were not Joe's fault. He is gone, but Tanaka has chosen to stay.

As I've said many times in recent months, we have a nice thick layer of cream rising to the major league level. We have the strength of numbers. If Clint Frazier tanks, Billy McKinney might be ready. If Glyber Torres fizzles, there are Tyler Wade and Miguel Andujar. We'll have at least three rookies competing for the rotation. If anything, all this wanton hope frightens me. As the Dead sang, "When life looks like Easy Street, there is danger at your door."

On that note, let's never ignore the danger of hubris, the greatest Yankee killer since Frank Larry. Any day now, Mount Alphonso will erupt, with a fiery belch of negativity that leaves us reaching for the Bromo-Seltzer. It won't matter, though. Masahiro Tanaka loves us, he really loves us. It is a good day to be a Yank fan. Smile.

16 comments:

Urban Farmer formerly known as DutchFan said...

I begin to believe, that Colonel Kurtz is the fun and entertaining personality of Alphonso. His empathic alter ego.

Anonymous said...

WAITING PATIENTLY FOR ALPHONSO'S STATE OF THE UNION.

JJ in MA said...

A true Hiro. He was hit or miss this year at best, and the elbow is a perpetual concern, but when it came to it, he could've gotten more money and time by leaving and he decided to stay.

Classy move. Let's hope it gets rewarded with a ring or two these next couple seasons.

Anonymous said...

On the John & Suzyn front, John Sadak, voice of the Railriders who also calls calls NFL and college hoops for westwood one, will not return to Scranton. He says he has a dream to call MLB games and is pursuing other opportunities. Worked in Yankee media office as a younger man. Hmmmm...

Buhner's Ghost said...

More cheese, please. We rats are hungry. Flannel only goes so far.

ranger_lp said...

So we have a logjam in Scranton with our announcers too it seems...

John M said...

Tanaka is good news.

Now, we await word on the Master and Mistress of the Yankees radio network. May the Yankees be as honorable toward them as Professor Tanaka is to the Yankees.

Yeah, I know, it's the Yankees...chances there are slim and none. But, we can hope.

Anonymous said...

Duque,

Here this might make you happier still. From RAB on Baseball America's Minor League rankings.

"Also, OF Blake Rutherford placed 18th on the Low-A South Atlantic League list. Eek. Hopefully he bounces back next year. Rutherford’s a good dude."

Maybe the Yankees knew what they were doing. Time will tell and no disrespect intended towards Rutherford.

Doug K.

Anonymous said...

Oh please. If he thinks he would have made out better financially by opting out, he would have. With his funky elbow and erratic peformance, he's lucky to be getting as much as he is. This decision comes from his business advisers.

Leinstery said...

This man is a class act. After his postseason performance where he pitched his ass off every game, I could have sworn he'd opt out for a team that would pay him upwards of 30 million a year. Shame on me for doubting him, this guy wants to win and wants to do it on the biggest stage. Guy is the definition of a competitor.

I hope Joggie is enjoying his time on the Mariners. The Mariners, for those of you not keeping track, have the longest playoff drought in Baseball, 2nd longest in North American sports behind the Buffalo Bills. Wise choice listening to Jay-Z. Who am I kidding, Joggie never cared about winning.

HoraceClarke66 said...

Oh, I suspect Tanaka could have made out better—in pure, immediate financial terms— by going to free agency.

There's always a bigger fool out there, somewhere. I suspect what happened instead was that he realized, 'Hey, I go somewhere else and the arm falls apart, then I get all the constant blame and abuse for the team not making it.' The extra bucks would not have been SO much bigger as to have been worth all the tsuris. Call it enlightened self-interest.

As for Joggie, he had already won! So he could flash the diamond when he wanted to, and ring up that credit on his HOF resume. Boy, will that be a slow day in Cooperstown.

13bit said...

I was thinking about Tanaka all day and how extraordinary what he did was. We have gotten so inured to these guys grabbing the biggest payout they can get. We all say "that sucks, but I guess in his position blah blah blah." How rare it is now for a player to place loyalty and pride above money? Make no mistake, neither Tanaka's kids, grandkids or great grandkids will ever want. They won't be going through their tattered cardboard boxes of old possessions, looking for things to sell on eBay, as some of us are currently doing. That being said, he could have easily said "fuck it. FEED ME MORE. WHERE'S THE MONEY?"

But he did not. He chose NY. He is a made Yankee. For life. We love you Masahiro, and for more than your stellar pitching.

John M said...

"They won't be going through their tattered cardboard boxes of old possessions, looking for things to sell on eBay, as some of us are currently doing."

Hey, 13bit...you got a camera installed in my apartment?

As an aside, I would like to thank Captcha for the education I've received in road signs and storefronts worldwide. If it wasn't for proving I'm not a robot, I never would have seen the great majority of foreign signs and stores that Captcha has shown me.

I still can't read Japanese, however.

TheWinWarblist said...

[sniffs, turns away] Thanks, Hiro, luv you too, gotta go now, think I've got something in my eye ...

HoraceClarke66 said...

You know, John M., that you don't really have to go through that whole robot thing, right?

It seems to only be there as some sort of prank/gatekeeping/rite of passage device put in place by our kind hosts. I discovered that only by accident, late one sordid night, when my liquor-drenched brain could not cope with whatever evil test they were proffering.

Rufus T. Firefly said...

Gents,

Put a pop-up blocker on your browser. That will default Captcha (or whatever the fuck it is) to requiring only that you check the box. No more road signs, cars, buildings or hookers to identify.

I made up the last part. Identify them on your own.