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Tanaka: No comparison to Japan

2/16/2014
Masahiro Tanaka is adjusting to life in pinstripes. Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports

TAMPA, Fla. --- All day, Masahiro Tanaka was trailed as if he were Justin Bieber after a night out. He moved left and a pack of reporters moved left. He moved right, the gaggle went right.

And Tanaka barely did anything Sunday, except some fielding practice and some light running.

The $155 million man says being a Yankee is much different than being a Rakuten Golden Eagle.

"I think it is hard to compare with the attention of the Yankees to the Rakuten Eagles," said Tanaka, who hardly seems overwhelmed. "The Eagles, back in Japan, are still a fairly new team. The Yankees are very rich in tradition and history so it is not comparable."

The Yankees always have more media than any other major league team, but because of the attention for Tanaka the clubhouse is completely jammed with reporters. In Japan, the media is not allowed in the locker room.

"It was something I wasn't accustomed to," Tanaka said. "A little bit of shock, but no problem."

After finding the one-mile run difficult Saturday, Tanaka ran a little Sunday, but he said, "It was a short distance, no problem at all."

MANBAN: Manny Banuelos threw his first bullpen of the spring. Joe Girardi confirmed an ESPN New York report that Banuelos could make the team out of the bullpen.

It is still more likely -- and the better move -- for Banuelos to start at Triple-A.