Bobby Valentine just loves talking about the New York Yankees. First he talked about how the Mets did so much more than the Yankees did after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Now, since he is an expert on Japanese baseball, he did manage there for years, he’s weighing in on Masahiro Tanaka‘s free agency, and surprise surprise, doesn’t think Tanaka signing with the Yankees is the best idea for Tanaka.
“If I was him, I would pitch in the National League,” Valentine said. “I would pitch on the West Coast and I would pitch where the weather isn’t going to be a factor.”
“He pitches like Jose Fernandez,” Valentine told The Post on Friday, referring to the Miami Marlins ace and NL Rookie of the Year. “I think [Tanaka] has similar stuff and similar competitiveness. He is battle-proven, and there is nothing you wouldn’t like about him. He would be a credit to anybody’s staff.”
He also called Tanaka’s splitter the best in the world.
As far as his evaluation of Tanaka, it’s probably pretty valid. The guy knows a ton about the NPB. As far as what’s best for Tanaka, you have to imagine that the National League and west coast comments are shots at the Yankees, since they are none of those things. Would Tanaka’s numbers be better pitching for the Dodgers rather than the Yankees? You could definitely argue that.
The point is Valentine loves to take little shots at the Yankees whenever he can. This was more than likely a veiled attempt to do so.