Masahiro Tanaka issues statement apologizing for injury (no, really)

7/11-7/14 Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles
Game 92: Just Win

Yesterday we learned Masahiro Tanaka would be sidelined for at least several weeks due to partially torn ligament in his elbow. He is going to attempt to rehab the injury on the recommendation of three doctors rather than undergo Tommy John surgery. On Friday, Tanaka issued a statement apologizing for the injury:

“As recently announced from the team, I will be going through some treatment and rehab on my injured elbow over the next several weeks. I give everything I have every time I take the ball. With that, I also know that there will always be a risk of injury when playing this game that I love. Right now I feel that the most important thing for me is to keep my head up, remain focused on the task at hand and devote all my energy into healing the injury in order to come back strong.

“I want to apologize to the Yankees organization, my teammates and our fans for not being able to help during this time. I accept this injury as a challenge, but I promise to do everything I can to overcome this setback and return to the mound as soon as possible.”

Shades of Hideki Matsui apologizing for his broken wrist back in 2006.

7/11-7/14 Series Preview: Baltimore Orioles
Game 92: Just Win
  • trr

    I work for a Japanese Corporation, this is the Japanese Way.
    It seems strange to American fans, but it’s a totally different culture over there.

  • Yangeddard Solarte

    I wish all of our ballplayers were like him. He knows he has a duty to the club and the fans and he takes it very seriously. Other players like A-Rod don’t give a damn, they just collect a paycheck and sue the team doctors for malpractice.

    • JCK

      Your read on A-Rod seems wildly wrong. Everything I’ve seen / read / heard over the years indicates that he loves and cares deeply about baseball and probably cheated because of the pressure he felt not to let anyone down and live up to outsized expectations. There are lots of stories to indicate this (like stories of him sleeping at the baseball field at the Boys & Girls Club when he was a kid because he didn’t want to go home, or that anecdote about going to Jeter’s house when they were both younger and being shocked that Derek didn’t want to watch baseball).

      (That malpractice suit ostensibly stemmed from his desire to be playing more, not because he didn’t take baseball seriously…)

      Yes, A-Rod clearly cares about money, but let’s not pretend that Tanaka gave the Yankees any kind of discount. 99% of MLB players fight to get paid what they’re worth (and attempt to get paid more than they’re worth if possible).

      A-Rod seems to suffer from a touch of Michael Jackson syndrome: he’s a spoiled kid who never really grew up. He so badly wants to please that he ends up making a lot of poor decisions and pissing people off along the way.

      Rodriguez is an egomaniac, a spoiled brat, possibly a colossal douche, but to say he doesn’t care about the club, fans or take baseball seriously seems like a poor interpretation of his character.

      • notsosmart

        Love this characterization of A-Rod. I think you were possibly even too harsh on him. But thank you for explaining the crucial difference between perception and reality in his case.

      • Cuso

        There’s nothing to indicate that he cares about the fans – It’s more about his legacy.

        That’s not to shit on him. It’s merely a reality check on the way he acts. His upbringing was probably every bit as much Michael Jackson-esque as you say, but to say that he’s done anything to show that he cares about the fans or the sport is in error.

        He cares about HIS PLACE in the sport. Notwithstanding MLB’s tactics, A-Rods actions and comments this past winter prove that. He got caught in the Biogenesis web and slung mud at not only MLB, but the Yankees and Dr. Ahmad as well.

        Let’s be honest. A-Rod and Tanaka are in no way similar in their self-image.

        • Derek Jeter

          Cuso is dead-on.

        • JCK

          Let’s be honest. A-Rod and Tanaka are in no way similar in their self-image.

          100% agree. I was commenting about the original post’s characterization of A-Rod, not the comparison between the two.

          Armchair psychologizing, but I think A-Rod’s self worth is wrapped up in how people perceive him, and his perception is that if he can just do well at baseball, live up to expectations, do well for the coaches, fans, team owner, etc., then people will like him and all will be forgiven. I think on that level, he does care about the fans, because he wants to please them as much as anyone else whose validation he seeks.

          I think he’s massively deluded, and it’s tragic. (It’s hard to feel too bad for the guy — he still has hundreds of millions of dollars, got to play baseball for a living (for the Yankees, no less) and most, if not all, of his undoing was of his own making. But just on a strictly human level, I do feel sorry for him. He had the talent and the circumstance to have a Jeter-like legacy, but instead he’ll probably be remembered as one of the most hated men to ever play the sport at worst, a cautionary tale at best.)

      • jgibs816

        Ha! That Arod-Jeter anecdote reminded me of a show I saw with Seattle Arod and Jeter way back in the day. Arod told the cameras how he gave Jeter the nice expensive leather jacket he was wearing for his birthday. He then said when his own birthday rolled around Jeter returned the favor…by giving him a signed rookie card of his (Jeter’s). Not relevant at all I realize but still

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    I’m not surprised in the least.

    I hope he doesn’t sign with the Cleveland Cavaliers now.

    • vicki

      do you think wade and bosh are sitting around thinking, you want me to take less money so you can sign danny granger and josh mcroberts?

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Wade leaving would question my faith in humanity, to be honest. I just can’t see him leaving.

        I assume Bosh lands in Houston, although I’d consider just offering him max money if I was Riley and rolling with two of the three.

        They no longer really need to take less money. It was about making sure there was enough room for Lebron and a better supporting team, which they clearly needed at this point.

        No one’s going to pay Wade more than Miami. He’s Jeter right now, in more ways than one.

        • Deep Thoughts

          I was just going to reference Wade borrowing any drops that might be left of Jeter’s reality potion from his last deal. Wade and to a lesser degree Haslem are both made men with the Heat, and I’m sure everyone wants them to finish their careers there. But if they’re going to compete for championships they better get used to the idea of taking less than what their markets might otherwise pay them.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            And I believe they will.

            Beltran, I mean, Bosh, just re-signed. :)

            I’ll be curious to see how a Chris Bosh who no longer has to play third option does. Certainly makes me feel a bit better about things moving forward.

    • I’m One

      Not a chance. Tanaka is quite diffetent than King James. No big TV announcement that he was coming to the Yankees. :-)

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        No TV announcement now either. This was all media creation this time around. He kept his ass quiet.

        Not on my team anymore, but still love him. Didn’t think it’d be that way, but that’s where my head is at at this moment.

        • Deathstroke Heathcott

          He rolled with you for 2 championships out of 4 years. If a single Heat fan resents LeBron for this move, they’re not the type of fan you need.

          • Jorge Steinbrenner

            Even die-hard Miami fans can terrible.

            I agree, though. It was a hell of ride and, at some point, that ride has to end.

  • Mr. Roth

    This seems like something Carl Pavano would do.

    • Derek Jeter

      would do?…you mean should do!

      • Mr. Roth

        lol When I say it seems like something Carl Pavano would do, what I mean is that it doesn’t seem like something Carl Pavano would ever do.

        • Jorge Steinbrenner

          Alyssa Milano owes us an apology for allowing him near her beautiful self. I never quite got over that.

          • Yankee$

            Hear hear.

  • Chip Rodriguez

    As it is I felt really bad about this.

    Now I feel worse, that Tanaka feels the need to apologize.

    (Probably wrecked his arm after almost single-handedly carrying the team for 3 months.)

    • I’m One

      +1. Ture Yankee.

  • ron

    I wish CC would apologize for his degenerative knee and retire like a samurai. #wishfullthinking

    • hogsmog

      …You mean by auto-disebowlment?

      • Tanuki Tanaka

        Some samurais just retire and hand the head-of-family to their offsprings. I hope CC’s son can pitch, and also run the family.

  • Tommy John’s Mother

    My son said he was sorry too! They didn’t have twitter back then for shizzle sake! Thanks, Tommy Johns mom.

  • Roadgeek Adam

    That is the culture there. Players hold themselves to a higher standard.

    I credit Masahiro for doing so and wish him the best.

  • TopChuckie

    Gotta love this guy. Even with this injury, I’m so glad the Yanks got him and we get to root for him.

    • I’m One

      OK, Group “Get Well Soon” card to him from RAB?

  • mustang


  • Coolerking101

    Unacceptable. Why has seppuku not been offered?

  • Frank

    Freaking Classy. I love it.

  • Mikhel

    And to think there were bosux fans in Calcaterra’s blog (HBT) saying how happy they were to see Tanaka injuried because Yankees only buy players.

    • TWTR

      Karma is a bitch.

    • jgibs816

      That argument is really getting tired isn’t it? Do players play for free? Do Ortiz, Pedroia, or Gomes not get paid? What a crock

    • Mike

      We’ll get them back by signing Lester next year.

  • Cuso

    I really hope he spends all 7 years here. And I realize that this type of statement is grounded in the duty-bound Japanese culture, but damn, if this type of statement scream “winner.”

    • Cuso

      Edit: “if this type of statement doesn’t just scream “winner.”

    • Tanuki Tanaka

      Might just do an extension like CC’s non opt-out

  • Mandy Stankiewicz


  • Eric Young

    I didn’t think I could have more respect than I already had for this guy.

    He just proved me wrong.

  • LarryM Fl

    I love the statement because I believe it is sincere.

    To comment about Arod in the same reply would lessen my belief in the statement and the athlete.

    America once had a culture similar to Tanaka statement but that generation is passing. It is so sad.

  • E-6

    Matsui issued the same type announcement.