Suppose you just inked a giant major league contract. What’s the first big purchase you would make?
For Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, it was a ridiculously expensive charter flight from Tokyo to New York City. According to Anthony McCarron of the New York Daily News, the newest addition to the Yankees' roster arrived in New York on Tuesday after a long international flight aboard a very empty jumbo jet.
Indeed, Tanaka allegedly dropped $195,000 to secure private transportation aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner operated by Japan Airlines. As its name suggests, the Dreamliner is a luxury aircraft built to carry a large amount of people to faraway locations.
The baseline 787 is built to carry 242 passengers. Tanaka’s flight, on the other hand, featured a markedly sparse cabin—six passengers in all, including Tanaka, his wife and their brown toy poodle.
While extravagant, one can hardly call the purchase surprising. Tokyo is a long distance from New York, and $200,000 is a drop in a bucket for a man who just signed a seven-year, $155 million contract.
Prior to his flight, Tanaka spoke to members of the Tokyo press on Sunday and explained he was covering the cost of the charter with his own money, per the New York Post's Bruce Golding.
“It’s a (chartered) private jet. It’s not something the Yankees have prepared,” Tanaka said. He also claimed he chose to fly private in order to be “in the best of form” for spring training workouts in America.
Tanaka and the rest of the Yankees pitchers and catchers will begin spring training in Tampa, Fla., this Saturday. Judging by the wintry weather currently afflicting Japan, the Sunshine State will be a welcomed change of scenery. His drive from the hotel to Tokyo’s Narita Airport allegedly took eight hours due to poor weather.
Be on the lookout for more big purchases from Tanaka. The man has yet to pitch an inning for New York, but he’s already spending like a Yankee.
Put it this way: If you’re going down to watch some spring games this year, don’t be surprised if there’s a brown poodle in the dugout chowing beef tartare. That’s just how Tanaka rolls.
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