masahiro tanakaWe’ve officially reached “that” point in the obsessive Masahiro Tanaka storyline. You know, the part where everyone following goes batshit crazy trying to parse the minutiae of insiders – and self-proclaimed, Scott Swaim insiders – as well as every last morsel of information that crumbles out into the information ecosystem.

I’m definitely a part of that craziness, but, man, today was something else.

It started with a tweet from the man, himself, in Japanese:

Everyone ran to Google Translate to get an idea of what Tanaka was saying, knowing all the while that Google Translate is profoundly awful when it comes to non-western languages.

Well, maybe people don’t know that? Because what Google spat out – “It does is decided” – sent a number of folks running to proclaim that Tanaka had decided on his future team. Except it turned out that not only was Google exactly wrong – Tanaka had said he couldn’t decide – but Tanaka wasn’t even talking about baseball. He was talking about his freaking Twitter avatar. (Thank you to several BN’ers for checking with actual Japanese speakers.)

In case you need to hear it again: when it comes to news and rumors in Japanese, don’t try to become a language expert using the ‘net. Wait for someone who actually speaks Japanese to translate. Actually, better yet, wait for two or three people to translate.

Ok. Whew. Enough of that. Here’s a few random Tanaka bits to tide you over while we await the inevitable next freak out (his decision could come any time now):

  • David Schoenfield has a really nice write-up on Tanaka’s abilities and projections. One upshot that I found particularly interesting? With the same devastating stuff as Yu Darvish, Tanaka might not be able to nibble quite as much in the States, forcing him to come into the zone more regularly with his fastball. In a bandbox like Yankee Stadium, that could be a serious problem.
  • Patrick Mooney was on Sports Talk Live with Dave Kaplan yesterday, and he remained pessimistic about the Cubs’ chances at landing Tanaka. Mooney’s sense, based on what he’s heard and what’s out there, is that Tanaka will ultimately end up with the Yankees.
  • Speaking of Kaplan, he had Jon Morosi on the David Kaplan Show last night to discuss Morosi’s Cubs/Tanaka take, and Kaplan noted that he’s heard the Cubs’ offer is “nowhere near” the seven-year, $160 million rumor that’s floating out there. I’m not entirely sure where that rumor came from – it’s not something I’ve written about – and the only semi-hard numbers we’ve heard came from Jesse Rogers, who cited a source indicating the Cubs could be willing to go as high as seven years at $25 or $26 million per year. (An aside here: Kaplan did not explicitly say that the Cubs’ offer was nowhere near $160 million because it was far higher or far lower, but his tone certainly sounded like he was saying it was much lower.)


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