Masahiro Tanaka was mentioned twice in a column about the Giants

Adam Pretty

So you're reading this.

Joel Sherman has a good rundown of the Tim Lincecum contract here, and he presents the Giants' rationale for spending $35 million on a pitcher who wasn't much better than Barry Zito over the last two years. The Giants weren't thinking about marketing, the story goes, as much as thinking Lincecum was the best pitcher they could get for a $35 million commitment. (They were also thinking about marketing. Shhhh.)

But! The lede was buried. From that article:

The Giants wanted to retain Lincecum. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner are their only two sure-thing rotation members next year, and San Francisco did not want to have to find three starters in this market rather than two (as an aside, expect the Giants to be among those pursuing Tanaka).

That would be Masahiro Tanaka. I wrote about him in August, but you might not be familiar with him. I intend to beat you over the head with Tanaka news and rumors. For he is my white whale.

The term "white whale" is a literary reference (The Celestine Prophecy) used to describe the player you're obsessing over in your furious rosterbation scenarios. Billy Beane used it in a baseball context first, using the term to describe Erubiel Durazo. He eventually got his white whale. And 152 at-bats after receiving MVP votes with the A's, he was out of the league.

An aside: Durazo is one year older than Marco Scutaro. Huh.

But this isn't a history lesson about a lumbering slugger. This is about obsession. And I want Tanaka on the Giants.

Year Age W L ERA IP H HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2007 18 11 7 3.82 186.1 183 17 68 196 3.3 9.5 2.88
2008 19 9 7 3.49 172.2 171 9 54 159 2.8 8.3 2.94
2009 20 15 6 2.33 189.2 170 13 43 171 2.0 8.1 3.98
2010 21 11 6 2.50 155.0 159 9 32 119 1.9 6.9 3.72
2011 22 19 5 1.27 226.1 171 8 27 241 1.1 9.6 8.93
2012 23 10 4 1.87 173.0 160 4 19 169 1.0 8.8 8.89
2013 24 20 0 1.24 181.0 142 6 27 155 1.3 7.7 5.74
7 Seasons 95 35 2.32 1284.0 1156 66 270 1210 1.9 8.5 4.48

You know, whatever, just the Bob Gibson of Japan, no big deal.

If you're wondering about the strikeout dip ... so am I. But let's watch a new video of him striking fools out!


I'll take three. My posting fee will be $1 billion. Grab him and put him in a sack before Rakuten changes their mind.

Tanaka is my guy, then. He's the Official White Whale of McCovey Chronicles, which is like the Willie Mac Award for rosterbatory fantasies. Previous winners:

2013: Jason Grilli
2012: Carlos Beltran
2011: Carl Crawford, maybe? Can't remember. High on confetti
2010: Nick Johnson
2009: Delmon Young
2008: Boy, I'm not very good at this
2007: Not Aaron Rowand

So this is Tanaka update #1. A New York-based writer put a parenthetical note about the Giants and Tanaka in a column about a different pitcher, so you're reading this even though the Giants aren't really going to try for him or pay anything close to what it would take. But I don't care. That's how white whales work.

Now it's your turn. This is the thread to declare your white whale to the world. Yell your obsession's name out loud, and don't care who hears it. You're safe here. You're safe.

(And thanks to Tanaka from preventing Carlos Beltran from being a two-time winner. That would have been embarrassing. Although I plan on not shutting up about Beltran, too)

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