Masahiro Tanaka has seen himself getting drilled in the head “many times.”
Masahiro Tanaka has probably watched his scary video more times than you have.
Yes, the New York Yankees pitcher admitted he has not only watched the video of him taking a screaming line drive off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton to the dome in a scrimmage, but he’s watched the footage “many times”. Lindsey Adler of The Athletic said Tanaka “laughed when he said it was multiple times.”
Let’s be real. Baseball players are different cats. It’s a game full of all sorts of quirks. The foul pole is in fair territory, the defense possesses the ball and there is no time limit, but you can never tie, not even in a glorified exhibition known as an All-Star Game, except for that one time they did and both leagues played for home-field in the World Series for one hot minute there. That was dumb.
As a hitter, you have to deal with failure somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of the time. If you fail 80 percent of the time, that’s too much failure and you get sent down. If you fail 70 percent of the time, they’ll put your face on a plaque in rural Upstate New York and you’ll be remembered forever. And then there are those weirdo pitchers. Half of them aren’t even allowed in the dugout.
Masahiro Tanaka is handling his near-death experience better than we would
Tanaka isn’t the biggest guy on the diamond, but he is certainly the most fearless. He took a 100 mile-per-hour laser to his noggin in a game that didn’t even count. Yeah, he had to go to the hospital, but he was out of there after only a few hours. For some, they couldn’t bear to watch the tape for a second. For Tanaka, maybe it gives him an edge, perhaps an intimidation factor?
There’s a reason the Yankees are favored to win the AL Pennant this year, but it had nothing to do with Tanaka being afraid of nothing. When he’s on the mound next, nothing is going to bother that guy. There’s not going to be another player in the big leagues who will hit the ball as hard in his direction as did Stanton. Okay, maybe Bryce Harper of the Philadelphia Phillies, but that’s it.
Tanaka once again proves he’s just a different kind of baseball player for the Yankees.