Senator Schumer sped up visa paperwork for Masahiro Tanaka

(Koji Watanabe/Getty)

(Koji Watanabe/Getty)

It has been less than two weeks since the Yankees signed Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year contract, and two weeks from today pitchers and catchers will report to Tampa. That doesn’t leave much time for Tanaka to get his affairs in order, including securing a visa.

In an effort to make sure their new pitcher arrives to camp in time, the Yankees enlisted the help of New York Senator Chuck Schumer to make sure the paperwork was taken care of properly. From Anthony McCarron:

“My office works tirelessly to help constituents every single day, but it’s not often you get a call from a constituent like the New York Yankees,” Schumer said. “You see, the Yankees called me a couple of days ago to say they were worried about Masahiro Tanaka getting to Spring Training on time due to the length of time it can take for foreign players to get a visa.

“Foreign baseball players apply for something called a P-visa and the whole process can take up to a month; but with pitchers and catchers reporting on February 14th, it was very possible he wasn’t going to make it. So I made sure we had someone go to the mailroom at USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services), pull his application and get it processed quickly – something I have done in the past for the Mets as well, when they had a similar issue with Jose Reyes.”

“Now the Yankees’ star free agent will be able to join the team at spring training with everyone else,” Schumer added. “As a lifelong Yankee fan who is hoping for another World Series this year, I could not be happier.”

Imagine if the Yankees had spent all that time waiting for the posting system to be revised and negotiating with Tanaka only to have his debut be delayed by paperwork. Must be nice to have those kinda connections, eh?

(I’m leaving the comments open but I reserve the right to close them if things get too politicy.)

Categories : Players


  1. Jorge Steinbrenner says:

    Schumer gets him the visa, only to have di Blasio play prevent defense and not allow him into the Bronx. Our mayor: The ULTIMATE EMBEDDED Red Sock.

    • Josh S. says:

      Ha. Di Blasio is a joke.

      I do love me some Schumer though. He spoke at my college graduation and I’ve always been impressed by him. Gotta love the Yankees fans with some political power.

    • Jim Is A (Bored) Peckerhead says:

      why is cashmn paying attention to this we have bigger issues To be worring about like backup for tex and get a #5 and were good

  2. Kvothe says:

    Non-issue, non-news item, though I understand it makes for a good story. Having worked in the past in the office of a congressman (as an intern), assisting with these sorts of issues is part of the standard package of constituent services that every congressman and congresswoman offers. In addition to assisting with things like immigration, they also help arrange tours for visitors in DC for various buildings, flag flying over the capitol building, veteran’s benefits, social security, and assistance in dealing with the bureaucracy in many other entitlement programs.

  3. Andrew says:

    Does this mean we’ll see Masahiro in some Re-Elect Schumer ads the next time he’s up for re-election? That’d be…interesting.

  4. Bryan says:

    What was the issue with De Paula’s visa? I still can’t believe Schumer was able to get Tanaka here in less than a month’s time but it took over a year to get De Pauala stateside!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner says:

      Didn’t DePaula have an identity issue? My layman’s assumption here is that we’re talking two very different things.

      • jjyank says:

        Yup. DePaula confessed that he lied about his identity in 2009, so getting his visa hit the skids for awhile. Different situation.

  5. TWTR says:

    I heard Schumer on the radio this morning. He mentioned that he wants to see the Yankees have a strong farm system. Dem or Repo, that’s obviously a big plus for me.

  6. Kiko Jones says:

    It’s not a partisan thing since the Steinbrenners are presumably GOPers and Schumer’s a Dem, but it smacks of rich people influence. I’m a constituent of Schumer’s—and a registered Dem to boot—but I’m a broke-ass mofo, so no way is a relative of mine getting this kind of speedy visa treatment, ya dig?

    • TWTR says:

      Definitely a “have” thing, but it benefits every Yankee fan, so…

    • RetroRob says:

      George contributed to Schumer’s campaigns. He knew it would benefit the Yankees post his death!

    • jjyank says:

      Well yeah. I don’t expect to have the influence and connections that an organization like the Yankees would have either, so I don’t consider it a big deal.

      • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

        I hear you, and you’re right, but isn’t that a sad state of affairs? Ought not the size of one’s influence be measured by the size of one’s single vote, rather than the size of one’s wallet? Does the state of affairs not bother you, perhaps because you’re a fan of the team?

        I think the principle of this is a very big deal indeed. It stinks, frankly.

        • I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

          That said, GO YANKS MUTHA FUCKA.

        • jjyank says:

          I mean, yeah, in a perfect world we’d all be treated like equals. But the world is far from perfect, and as long as money drives politics (and it always will), multi-billion dollar organizations with massive amounts of influence will be heard over the 25 year old who makes ~$40 grand a year.

          It is what it is. I’m just at peace with the way the world works, and thankful that I don’t have a loved one who needs a speedy visa :P

        • lightSABR says:

          I’m sympathetic with your concern, but I think it’s misplaced in this case. Schumer helping the Yanks has nothing to do with money or campaign contributions and everything to do with individuals’ votes – in this case, the millions of individuals in New York who are Yankees fans.

          Which, of course, is why he had to mention in the press release that he’s helped the Mets, too. You don’t want to lose their votes while you’re pandering for ours.

          Speaking of which, anybody remember when Martha Coakley dissed Fenway and called Curt Schilling a Yankees fan while running for the senate from Massachusetts? Hilarious. Serious “how to throw an election” kind of stuff.

    • Scott says:

      See Kvothe’s comment above: broke-ass nobodies do get Senate offices helping them expedite paperwork all the time; a friend (who’s a nobody) had trouble getting a passport and paperwork on time for a trip to another country for work — until he called our Senator’s office, and it got done really quickly then. (We’re not in NY, but this goes on everywhere; basically, the staff of senators and congressmen serve as free lawyers for constituents navigating the federal bureaucracy.)

  7. ropeadope says:

    That doesn’t leave much time for Tanaka to get his affairs in order, including securing a visa.

    I receive offers in the mail every other day from various banks stating I’m pre-qualified for a Visa. If a nobody like me can get one so easily, why should Tanaka have difficulty?

  8. RetroRob says:

    In before comments are shut down!

    I wonder if Schumer is a Yankee fan? Don’t think I’ve ever seen him shown at the Stadium.

    • TWTR says:

      He said he is.

      • RetroRob says:

        I know he said he is, but now you’re asking me to believe a politician. : -)

        • TWTR says:

          Well yeah…

          Expanding on the snip-it of the interview that I heard on WFAN, Evan Roberts (not a Yankee fan) complimented him for admitting it because apparently most of the politicians they have interviewed have said they “root for both teams.”

          • RetroRob says:

            In that case I’ll accept his fandom. If he said he was a Mets fan too, I’d question it. Politicians really should just say if they are fans of a specific team. I would never hold it against them in voting. I might, however, hold it against a politician who claimed to be a fan of both teams!

    • Macho Man "Randy Levine" says:

      Now, now. This isn’t going to become the Fox thread from a few days ago.

  9. mike says:

    That’s great – I wonder which family is going to be missing one visitor for their party, or what job isn’t going to run at a factory because the technician or visitor is now bumped when Tanaka got pushed ahead. Of course, the hard working Federal Employees were able to get Tanaka’s paperwork done without compromising their daily workload, so there is no issue, right :)

    just another way where the politicians are so insulated from reality, and just how power can corrupt in even the most simple and small ways. So, if the Yankees call, the other guy gets pushed out of the way….

    for 2% of 150mm, Close should have had his application pending already.

    That’s why I don’t care about $189mm, or Arod’s salary or what any politician says or does…its abillionaires game staffed by millionaire’s, and everyone is sucking the tit.

  10. mrdbag says:

    Why is this even a post? Who cares?

    • Mr. Roth says:

      You cared enough to comment on it…so, um…..yeah.

    • jjyank says:

      Mo forbid a note about a recently signed Yankee player is posted on a blog.

      Here’s an idea. If you want to bitch about content, let’s hear your idea for a blog post on January 31st. Slow news time. It’s not a new concept.

  11. Farewell Mo says:

    I’m sure this wasn’t done out of the goodness of Schumer’s heart with a nice fat campaign donation courtesy of the Steinbrenners surely to follow.

  12. Farewell Mo says:

    If Schumer has that kind of pull, what the hell is taking him so long getting David Ortiz deported?

  13. I'm a looser and a trader baby so why don't you kill me? says:

    Every time I see this photo I think he’s a winged angel sent down from heaven to pitch us to a WS. I can dream right?

  14. vin says:

    Honestly sounds like his agency dropped the ball on that one. Gotta plan ahead, no?

    • jjyank says:

      Granted, I know nothing about visa procedures, but if that one guy above somewhere is right, he had to sign something first. Again, I don’t actually know how it works, but it makes sense that you actually have to have a job before you can acquire a work visa.

      • RetroRob says:

        Yes, I think that’s right. He can’t apply for a work visa until he actually, well, ummm, has a job! The employer also has to sponsor it in some form.

  15. Mikhel says:

    Visa issues can lead to ugly aftermaths… yesterday Dominican and Puertorrican baseball players had issues with their visas (which were expired) so they couldn’t travel to play the Caribbean Series in Venezuela… why the hell they did not check that beforehand? xD

    By the way, the caribbean series live: teleunionrd.com (right now Dominican Republic vs Puerto Rico).

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