Wednesday, January 22, 2014

EXTRA: He’s a Yankee! Surprised?

Money wasn't enough to become a Cub
Masahiro Tanaka, the star professional baseball pitcher from Japan who triggered a bidding war amongst U.S. ball clubs for his services, will be a New York Yankee.

It got announced Wednesday that the 25-year-old Tanaka will accept a seven-year contract from the Yankees for some $155 million (although he can walk away after four seasons, if he thinks he can negotiate a better deal at that time elsewhere).

WHICH MEANS THAT we here in Chicago will get to experience the Tanaka Express, so to speak, the third week of May. That’s the week that the Yankees will make their lone trip to the Second City. Although we’ll have to wait and see which side of town he pitches on (as in, who gets the potential for an attendance boost).

Due to the quirks of inter-league play, the Chicago Cubs will get a pair of games at Wrigley Field with the Yankees, in addition to the four-game series they will play against the White Sox.

And as it turns out, the Yankees will be at Wrigley on May 20-21, then travel to U.S. Cellular for May 22-25. It’s all going to come down to where in the Yankees’ pitching rotation Tanaka winds up – insofar as where he pitches while here.

I did get a kick out of one tidbit I picked up from the New York Daily News.

THEY REPORTED THAT Tanaka ultimately chose between the Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers (totally predictable). Even though it was supposedly the Cubs who offered the most money (eight seasons at about $25 million per year).

So for those who thought Tanaka was merely looking for money in coming here, it seems that’s not quite true. He wants to win a World Series.

He is, after all, a member of ball clubs that won the Japan Series, and last season had a record of 24-0 with a 1.27 earned run average while pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Chicago Cubs standards were just too low to take seriously, no matter how much the cash came to.

No changes anytime soon.

EDITOR'S NOTE: It certainly was not a good day for the Chicago Cubs on Wednesday. Aside from learning that no amount of money was going to get them a talented pitcher, it also seems that talks with the Lake View neighborhood residents fell through. So all the talk of a remodeled Wrigley Field will have to go on hold, and may even turn into an ugly court fight. Although I suspect the on-field play of the Cubs this coming season will be even uglier.

No comments: