Hiroki Kuroda won't be giving up his No. 18 jersey for Masahiro Tanaka in 2014, as the Yankees' newest addition will wear No. 19 in 2014. Ace pitchers in Japan are usually given No. 18, but Kuroda's seniority likely gives him the ability to keep his number over the rookie.
The #Yankees pinstripes are ready for Tanaka. pic.twitter.com/qMd5Xx8i0a— New York Yankees (@Yankees) January 24, 2014
If you needed a reminder that Chris Stewart is really, truly gone, this is it. I hope the Yankees have made sure that jersey was dry cleaned repeatedly. Can't have any possible contamination from the former owner infecting the Yankees' shiny new toy. What did Stewart think of Tanaka taking his old number?
@McCulloughSL @Yankees For fun, I went and got the official Stew response: "I thought they were gonna retire it though, after i left." Awww.— Daniel Barbarisi (@DanBarbarisi) January 24, 2014
Running out to buy a 19 jersey may seem like a good idea, but I urge some caution. Kuroda has been teetering on the verge of retirement for a couple seasons now and this could very well be his last in pinstripes. If 18 suddenly becomes available, I could see Tanaka wanting to switch. Maybe not, but buyer beware. Tanaka wore both 17 and 18 during his time in Japan.
Some other Yankees who wore #19 in the past include Dave Righetti, Ramiro Pena, Fritz Peterson, Bob Turley, Whitey Ford, Tyler Clippard, and Luis Sojo. What do you think of Tanaka's decision to go with #19?
Feel free to use this as your open thread for the night, as well.
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