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A new face of Yankees excess

Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees smiles as he is introduced to the media.

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Masahiro Tanaka of the Yankees smiles as he is introduced to the media.

Any baseball fans who fear they might miss A-Rod’s tabloid-grabbing exploits while the New York Yankees’ third baseman serves his year-long suspension should consider this: The latest Yankees star, Japanese pitching ace Masahiro Tanaka, chartered his own Boeing 787 Dreamliner to take him from Tokyo to New York — a 200-seat aircraft for five passengers and a dog. The trip cost him $195,000. Tanaka, of course, just inked a $155 million deal with the Bombers. Though he is only 25, he has been a star in Japan for seven years and is married to one of the country’s leading pop singers. In other words, he may be more at home in the Big Apple than anyone expected.

And yet, while pondering the image of the nearly empty wide-bodied jet spewing emissions across the Pacific, it’s hard to avoid thinking that this is exactly what a 25-year-old might do when handed unexpected wealth (along with, say, turning the back cabin into the world’s most expensive man cave). Tanaka is the freshest face in the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry this year, and his heavy landing should only make the upcoming season more exciting.

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