There’s an empty ballpark and then there’s a silent ballpark, and if you found yourself at Yankee Stadium on Saturday afternoon, you witnessed the painful difference.
When Masahiro Tanaka took a Giancarlo Stanton line drive to the right side of his head, barely a half hour into the Yankees’ spring training 2.0 launch, his teammates halted all other activities and focused their collective gaze on the mound, where club trainers tended to the lateral right-hander. Someone possessed the good sense to turn off the music that had been blasting on the public-address system.
Aided by a trainer on each side, Tanaka walked shakily from the mound to the dugout at 3:36, five minutes after he went down, and the news grew more encouraging as the day progressed. By Saturday night, he had been released from NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital after passing “a battery of tests,” including a CT scan, as per Aaron Boone, and Tanaka tweeted that though he still felt some effects of the play, he hoped to return to action before too long.
At 4:40, the Yankees described the pitcher as “currently alert, responsive and walking under his own power.” By shortly after 7 o’clock, Aaron…