Tanaka’s Tampa arrival overshadowed by Jeter’s announcement

MLB.com’s Adam Berry was at the Yankees’ Minor League complex on Wednesday and thought Wednesday’s story of the day would be Masahiro Tanaka. He was wrong. Here’s a report.

TAMPA, Fla. — Before Derek Jeter announced his plans to retire after the 2014 season, Masahiro Tanaka was set to be the story of the day at the Yankees’ Minor League complex on Himes Avenue.

About 25 members of the Japanese media joined the usual crew of reporters outside the complex, awaiting the highly anticipated arrival of the Yankees’ new $155 million man.

As it turns out, Tanaka actually dropped by across the street at George M. Steinbrenner Field, the Yankees’ Spring Training home, where he played catch and spoke with pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

As he was leaving Steinbrenner Field, Rothschild told a small group of reporters that Tanaka worked out then played catch and long toss and looked good doing so. Asked how Tanaka is handling everything so far, Rothschild quickly responded, “Excellent.

“I don’t know how many people can go through the week that he’s had,” he added. “It’s been great, but it’s got to be tiring to deal with everything.”

Rothschild said the Yankees hope to have the right-hander throw off a mound in the next couple days. New York’s pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report Friday and have their first workout Saturday.

Rothschild added that Tanaka’s schedule will be determined “just according to what he’s used to, more than anything else. I don’t want to change a lot, but still try to ease him into the adjustments that he’s going to make.

“We talked for a long time today and went through a lot, which was the most important thing,” Rothschild added. “Just schedules, what he’s done in the past to get ready, the expectations as far as spring training and how the schedules look and things like that.”

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