Masahiro Tanaka recently returned to Japan with his family, in fear of contracting the coronavirus.
Having been in Florida following the suspension of the baseball season, the Yankees starting pitcher revealed on Twitter that he traveled back to his homeland in late March because he believed he, his wife and two children were in “danger” of potentially becoming infected with COVID-19.
Tanaka, 31, said no one in his family is showing any symptoms of the disease, but they would self-quarantine for two weeks in Japan, as the government requests.
“By entering Japan from the United States, where the infection of the new coronavirus is expanding, even though we currently have no symptoms, would you still infect someone without knowing it? Wouldn’t my family get infected? There were various thoughts,” said Tanaka, according to a translation provided to NJ.com. “However, after spring training was discontinued, there was a situation where I was in danger because of the coronavirus infection while staying in Florida. I have decided to return home temporarily with deep caution.
“We are currently self-quarantined at home for two weeks, as requested by the Japanese government. As a person traveled from foreign country, I will continue to take responsible actions.”
Despite Florida’s vulnerable elderly population, Gov. Ron DeSantis first enacted a statewide stay-at-home order Wednesday. Tanaka’s other home, in New York City, is in the American epicenter of the crisis.
Tanaka, who is due to be a free agent following the 2020 season, had continued working out at the Yankees’ complex in Tampa after spring training was suspended on March 12.
Days later, Tanaka seemed aware the whole season could eventually be scrapped.
“It’s all guessing,” Tanaka said. “We don’t know what’s gonna happen. I feel the most important thing right now is to try to strive to see the end of this. I’m not talking about baseball, but the whole thing.”