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Masahiro Tanaka charters a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for five people and a dog

Feb 10, 2014, 11:54 AM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka

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)

  1. stex52 - Feb 10, 2014 at 11:57 AM

    If I’m Cashman a cold chill just ran down my spine.

    • alwaysaharley33 - Feb 10, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      A cold chill ran down the rest of the MLB also….you go Tanaka, let’s hope he can pitch to the BIG BOYS he will be facing on a nightly basis.

  2. mordecofe - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    Couldn’t take a regular private jet? Those are already a big waste of fuel, let alone a jumbo.

    • El Bravo - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:29 PM

      But Dreamliners are dreamier.

      • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        Yes, and I dreamed I used a Dreamliner battery to power my flashlight. It failed immediately after the next hurricane knocked out power to the neighborhood..

  3. uyf1950 - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Good for him. It beats sitting for 14 or hours in the middle seat of some commercial flight from Tokyo to NYC. Just kidding, but I couldn’t cares less how he got to or how much he spent to get to NY as long as he pitches well when the season starts..

    • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:09 PM

      Here’s a positive angle on what seems to be a shameless display of his newfound obscene wealth: the 787 is pressurized to a lower cabin altitude than any other commercial jetliner, and has a higher ratio of cabin humidification. It therefore causes its passengers considerably less “jet lag” and marginal hypoxia. Tanaka actually will arrive in “better shape” for camp than if he chartered, say, even a Gulfstream V or a BBJ.

      • kyleshabram - Feb 10, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        that. was. AWESOME!

      • bigharold - Feb 10, 2014 at 6:13 PM

        “.. a shameless display of his newfound obscene wealth ..”

        Come on OG. He isn’t pissing it away on hookers and blow. It’s his money, he can spend it away he wants. Besides, what’s the rate on chartering a Gulfstream V or a BBJ, .. $10-15K and hour.

        He can spend it away way he wants as long as in the long run he earns it with his pitching.

      • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 7:36 PM

        Harold: take note: I said “seems to be” and then corrected that misimpression of Tanaka’s splurge by offering a heartfelt paean to the managed cabin atmosphere in the wondrous 787 and its salubriousness for the metabolism of the Borg’s diadem of the rotation. No criticism of Tanaka-san was intended.

  4. Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:05 PM

    Feelin’ Borg. After a season with these guys, he’ll charter an A-380 to take himself home.

    And bless you for the Sirens of Titan reference, Craigster.

  5. manifunk - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:06 PM

    Sweet carbon footprint there. Bad enough the Yankees pollute baseball, now they’re polluting the earth.

    • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:11 PM

      Kvetch now, but some day all that extra carbon dioxide will preserve your sno-cone.

    • uyf1950 - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:19 PM

      @ manifunk, in case you didn’t realize it from the piece the Yankees didn’t charter his plane OR pay for it. BTW, I understand that carbon is the base material needed to form diamonds. So maybe from your perspective it might have been more appropriate if you said the “Yankees are the Diamonds of baseball”.

      • happytwinsfan - Feb 10, 2014 at 1:40 PM

        glad to hear the yankees aren’t responsible for global warming. if they were i might have to become a fan.

      • metroplexsouthsider - Feb 10, 2014 at 2:51 PM

        I was going to say they’re the cubic zirconium. Cheap knockoffs that look like the real deal.

  6. yepurwrong - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:08 PM

    Like a Boss

  7. mdpickles - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    If I could, I would.

  8. mulletcork - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:22 PM

    You are not Japanese!! You are not a Tanaka!!

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      /giant thumbs up

      OKAY USA

  9. nymets4ever - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:27 PM

    As an environmentalist…this is an outrage.

  10. cackalackyank - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:30 PM

    Not too shabby for a solid number three starter, huh?

    • mybrunoblog - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:57 PM

      Al Gore was asked by some media types what he thought about this. Predictably he didn’t like what Tanaka did but he reminded the reporter that he is flush with all that money he made by inventing the Internet.

      • cackalackyank - Feb 10, 2014 at 4:13 PM

        Not really sure what this has to do with my comment…..

    • anxovies - Feb 11, 2014 at 1:03 AM

      #4 gets a Gulfstream and #5 has to strap paddles on his arms.

  11. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:34 PM

    Your move, CC

    • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      CC will need a C-141.

      • bigdicktater - Feb 10, 2014 at 6:03 PM

        Or a DreamFreighter. They’re the 747’s on steroids that pickup Dreamliner parts around the globe and fly them to WA and SC. Very impressive!

      • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        They’re called Dreamlifters. They’re converted 747-400s operated by Atlas Air Cargo for Boeing. They routinely shelter at Macondo International where there’s a shop that performs routine inspections and switches out their engines when they require overhauling, so I see these beasts regularly squatting on the tarmac just off LeJeune Road like giant versions of those hot dog shaped Volkswagens that advertise Oscar Meyer weiners. Watching one of them taking orf, or landing low over the Palmetto Distressway, is an amazing sight. This little airplane pilot here is wowzered by them.

  12. jfk69 - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:41 PM

    Tanaka considered an F14 but dog hates wearing pressurization suit. Also considerate of eco friendly Americans. Promised to be picked up and driven to camp in eco friendly Tesla electric car.And thanks number one pitcher Sabbathia for heads up on jaded American values.

  13. doctorofsmuganomics - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:44 PM

    Brown toy poodle.

    Get a better dog

    • cur'68 - Feb 10, 2014 at 12:45 PM


  14. yankeesfanlen - Feb 10, 2014 at 1:12 PM

    At long last, the arrival of a TRUE Yankee!

  15. jfk69 - Feb 10, 2014 at 1:54 PM

    Not publicized. But will charter jet plane for friendly American and adoring Japanese press while in the states. Yes. Bar service included.
    The mark of a true ace.

  16. canadiansportsfan77 - Feb 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    Does Tanaka know that Cashman has already said to the public that he’s not worth his salary?

    • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 10, 2014 at 2:29 PM

      Teixeira already admitted he isn’t either.

  17. jfk69 - Feb 10, 2014 at 1:57 PM

    When asked about poodle. Tanaka claims it is wife’s dog. He sent his pit bull ahead in Gulfstream.

  18. Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 10, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Tanaka will make roughly $700K/game. So this plane trip was about 2 innings of work.

    Your point being, what exactly?

    • stex52 - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      I would be fearful, were I Cashman, they were a developing a bad case of incipient diva syndrome.

      • stex52 - Feb 10, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Sorry, I lost control of my pronouns. “….Cashman, that he was….”

      • Jason @ IIATMS - Feb 10, 2014 at 5:33 PM

        they can carry his a$$ to the ballpark in a gold chariot driven by unicorns for all I care. Long as that splitter works and he’s everything we’ve heard, that’s what I care about.

        The rest is noise.

  19. upperdecker19 - Feb 10, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    5 people and a dog. So there is an in flight meal?

    • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 7:48 PM

      He’s Japanese, not Indonesian.

      • bigharold - Feb 10, 2014 at 11:49 PM

        Or, Korean for that matter.

    • dexterismyhero - Feb 11, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      Brown poodle for 5, well done please!!!

  20. jayquintana - Feb 10, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    I can see both points. Bottom line, this kid better be at least as good as Kuroda.

  21. Professor Fate - Feb 10, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Conspicuous consumption just because you can. Things like this are why future generations will look back on our time as one of mindless, selfish depletion of the planet. If you were a dog you could lick your balls. That doesn’t mean you should.

    Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, the simple fact is that the kind of lifestyle to which most of us have become accustomed is plainly unsustainable. But go ahead and get yours now and to hell with your kids.

    • Old Gator - Feb 10, 2014 at 7:50 PM

      You’ve convinced me.

      Fido! If I catch you licking your balls again, you’re going to be satay at our next rijsttaffel!

  22. skerney - Feb 10, 2014 at 8:58 PM

    But everybody’s like Cristal, Maybach, diamonds on your timepiece.
    Jet planes, islands, tigers on a gold leash
    We don’t care, we aren’t caught up in your love affair.

  23. mtr75 - Feb 11, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Just in case there’s a journalist out there that cares, it was a Boeing 737, not a Dreamliner. There is no Dreamliner with a 200-seat configuration, and you can readily look up the tail number on the aircraft.

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