Brian Cashman referred to Masahiro Tanaka as the Yankees’ third starter the other day. Not all third starters are created equal, of course. I mean, I doubt Tyler Chatwood does this:
Japanese baseball sensation Masahiro Tanaka chartered his own Boeing 787 Dreamliner to fly him to New York, with the entire plane taken up by his five-strong party and his pet dog.
The ace pitcher, who has just signed a seven-year MLB deal worth $US155 million ($A173.6 million) with the New York Yankees, is believed to have splashed out $US195,000 ($A218,000) of his own money on the one-way flight.
The dog, by the way, was not some large, fierce Kazak-like space hound that required sequestration. It’s a brown toy poodle. Seriously. So why the expense?
Tanaka paid for the plane so he could take part in the team’s camp “in the best of form”, a Japanese baseball official who accompanied him reportedly said.
Masahiro Tanka is in The Best Form of His Life.
(Thanks to Jonathan for the heads up)
In another thrilling round of the 2018 Home Run Derby, Kyle Schwarber walked off to defeat Rhys Hoskins and advance to the finals in the 2018 Home Run Derby. Hoskins hit 20 — surpassing his first-round total of 17 — but Schwarber was able to do him one better in regulation time.
For most of the round, Schwarber was “only” on pace to hit 17 or 18, but he got on a roll after using his time-out. He mashed about five home runs in the span of 30 seconds. With just a couple of seconds left on the clock, Schwarber hit his 21st home run to send Rhys to the showers. Of course, Schwarber had unlocked 30 seconds of bonus time since he hit two home runs that went at least 440 feet, so it was a formality. But to do it in regulation in buzzer-beater fashion was more fun than opening bonus time with the send-off.
Still an impressive showing by Hoskins. He became the first player to hit 20 home runs in the semifinals of the Derby, per ESPN Stats & Info. His 37 total homers are the second-most by a Phillies player in the Derby. Bobby Abreu hit 41 home runs en route to winning in 2005.
In the finals, Schwarber will face the winner of the Max Muncy–Bryce Harper showdown.