The Masahiro Tanaka press conference is getting started here at Yankee Stadium. I’ll add some updates to this post as we go along. Hal Steinbrenner, Randy Levine, Lonn Trost, Jean Afterman and Brian Cashman are here representing the front office. Sounds like there will not be separate press conferences for American and Japanese media, so we might be here for a while.
UPDATE, 1:06 p.m.: Lots of pictures as the participants are seated. Hal going with the cool-guy, no-tie look. Tanaka is a big dude.
UPDATE, 1:08 p.m.: Jason Zillo just announced that this is the Yankees largest press conference since Hideki Matsui.
UPDATE, 1:11 p.m.: Cashman says George Steinbrenner would have loved this, if only because of how much attention Tanaka is generating.
UPDATE, 11:13 p.m.: Joe Girardi presents Tanaka with a cap and the No. 19 jersey.
UPDATE, 11:15 p.m.: Tanaka introduces himself in English. “I’m very happy to be a Yankee.”
On adjusting to a larger baseball
“I just feel that it’s very important for me to try to make that adjustment.”
Who are you looking forward to facing?
“Basically I have not faced anybody here, so just basically looking forward to facing anybody.”
How do you feel now that you’re in a Yankee uniform?
“Now that I’m here and wearing this uniform, I really feel that I have become a member of the New York Yankees.”
On handling the fans in Boston and the Red Sox rivalry
“Just by watching over the television of the Yankees Red Sox games, you can see how intense the games are. I’m very much looking forward to playing in that environment.”
On his conversation with Hideki Matsui
“He just basically told me how good this city was.”
Why the Yankees?
“I’ve heard that this place is, it can be very harsh to you at times. Just wanted to put myself through this environment and see where I can get to with my ability.”