Masahiro Tanaka says he is not over excited about making his New York Yankees debut following six weeks of spring training.
The Japanese sensation chose to join the Yankees ahead of a dozen other teams, agreeing a contract worth $175m. After a sensational spell in Japan and the heavy price paid, a lot is expected of Tanaka.
He was officially unveiled as Joe Girardi's Joe Girardi with his first start set to come against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 4 but Tanaka admits the excitement is yet to build up.
Speaking of his feelings ahead of the game, Tanaka told reporters: “Nothing too special, I’m just going to prepare for that day.
“I understand how good the lineup is for the Blue Jays but once I get on the mound, I just have to go out there and do my best and get some outs.
“Maybe it’s because I’m not thinking about it too much, but right now I am not overly excited,’’ Tanaka said, “but as we get closer to game day, I’m sure that excitement will come along."
While most people dream about pitching for the New York Yankees, Tanaka seems to have succeeded in putting emotion aside to make sure he is mentally ready for the task at hand. Not only is their pressure to perform because of his big contract but he arrives in the MLB with an exceptional reputation.
After a summer of heavy investment, the pressure is on the entire Yankees team to perform in 2014.