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Masahiro Tanaka: The man, the myth, the machine

Masahiro Tanaka was unfortunately struck with a 112-mile-per-hour line drive off the bat of Giancarlo Stanton under two weeks ago. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen on Thursday.

While we don’t know if Tanaka will be ready for the start of the season yet, the mere fact that he has a shot is incredible. He went to the hospital after the incident and was released later that evening. And once he returned to the field, he seemed likely his normal bubbly self.

So here’s the conspiracy theory that I am proposing: Masahiro Tanaka is not human. Sure, we like to say those types of things in jest for guys like Tanaka and DJ LeMahieu, but I am saying he actually is a machine. My reasoning:

  • Who gets hit right above the temple with a 112-mile-per-hour line drive and bounces back like it’s nothing?
  • The Yankees invested $155 million in Tanaka. That’s a big risk, especially considering the mixed bag the Yankees had gotten from players from Asia (read: Key Igawa).
  • So the Yankees weren’t investing $155 million in just a baseball player – they were also investing in a robot.
  • Japan is viewed by many as the most technologically advanced country in the world. They love technology, the love baseball – who’s to say they didn’t just combine the two and make Tanaka?
  • The Yankees are also very analytically advanced. Who’s to say they weren’t just ahead of the curve when they signed him in 2014?
  • I don’t think Tanaka went to the hospital at all; I think the Yankees took him into a back room and re-wired him to say things related to his “injury”.
  • Do you know what the ASCII symbol for 19 is? DC3: “Device Control 3”. DEVICE!

Is saying Tanaka is an actual machine a stretch? Sure. Should you believe me? Maybe. But I think we can all agree that Masahiro Tanaka is a gem and should be brought back next offseason.