Yeah, I know. You read the headline and are thinking about Irabu and Igawa and those memories just made you upchuck.
But according to the NY Post, the Yanks are serious about putting in a high bidding fee for 24-year-old Mashiro Tanaka of Japan. Tanaka’s team, the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles, won the Pacific League championship, and Tanaka went 22-0, 1.23. Yes, those numbers are real. 22-0, 1.23. Tanaka turns 25 on 11/1.
The Yanks lost Pettitte to retirement, will lose Hughes to free agency, and don’t know what will happen with Kuroda. Pineda didn’t pitch in 2012, only 40 some innings in 2013 after shoulder issues. (In a recent column, I omitted Manny Banuelos. Why? Because he most likely won’t make the MLB team in the spring of 2013 after pitched only 24 some innings in 2012 and not pitching at all this year due to TJ surgery in 2012. Reports are that he is throwing and throwing well right now, and he turns 24 next March, but after a long period of inactivity, he probably needs to go back to AAA, where he’s only pitched 58.1 innings so far (2-4, 4.32). )
As for Tanaka, some think he’s better than Yu Darvish, and could be the best pitcher ever to come from Japan. Yankees fans have reason to be leery because Irabu was considered the “Nolan Ryan of Japan” and Igawa was a bust. Even Dice-K, who I hoped the Yanks would get, was only good for two years in Boston (33-15 in 2007-2008, 17-22 since then).
The Yanks could use pitching help. If this guy is the real deal, great. Go get him. The Yanks have been scouting the guy for a while, and I don’t believe it is with the same scouts who scouted Igawa (Just kidding. I sure as hell HOPE not!).
But if Yankees fans are wary about spending big bucks on another free agent pitcher from Japan, could you blame them?
The Tigers shut out the A’s in Game 5 and advance to play Boston in the ALCS. So the NLCS is Dodgers/Cards, the ALCS Tigers/Red Sox. All four of the teams four of the ORIGINAL sixteen teams (taking into account the Dodgers move from Brooklyn).
Nice piece by Phil Mushnick in the Post about Dick Stockton commenting on Marlon Byrd moving from one team to another over the past few years but not once commenting on his 50-game suspension. Why not, Dick?
I’m still working on looking at 2014, Part 3 (the infield/C/DH). Part 4 will be the outfield. Both parts should be coming soon, probably over the weekend.