By Aglaia Staff

With apologies to Hideki Matsui, the Yankees’ signing of Masahiro Tanaka just gave the Bombers a Godzilla-sized ace for their starting rotation, and Gotham’s newest celebrity power couple.


Carmelo and La La, take note.

Lost in all the immediate buzz of the ace righthander Tanaka’s talents coming to the Bronx is the pitcher’s wife, entertainment and pop star Mai Satoda, who is four years her husband’s senior. The 25-year-old Tanaka may be known for his sparkling 24-0 record last year with the Rakuten Golden Eagles and for his split-finger fastball, but Satoda has made her own stamp in the Land of the Rising Sun, with her pop music and TV background.

Satoda, who turns 30 on March 29, has been associated with several musical acts, including the all-girl pop group Country Musume (which translated means “Country Girls”), which formed in 1999. The group has gone through several incarnations, with Satoda joining in 2002. The band folded in the late 2000s.

During the Tanaka courting process by major league teams, several reports said that Satoda was trying to influence her husband to choose the Dodgers, presumably so she might get a foothold in the Hollywood scene.

But Hiroshi Kanda, an editor with Kyodo News who covered Matsui’s Yankee tenure, said that Satoda was more a “girl-next-door” talent who “cares more about Tanaka than her career.”

“She is one of the most beloved baseball wives (in Japan),” Kanda said. “But I don’t think she’s thinking about her career now.”

That sentiment appeared to be the case last October when Satoda responded to many fans’ concerns about Tanaka’s health following his apparent barehanded catch during the playoffs.

“He’s OK because the ball made a hop before he caught it,” Satoda wrote on her blog. “It wasn’t a direct catch, that would have been scary!”



 Masahiro Tanaka Comes To Yankees With Mai Satoda
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