Daily Buzz: Masahiro Tanaka flew to US $195K style

Masahiro Tanaka recently signed a $155 million deal with the New York Yankees, and the Japanese star already seems to be familiarizing himself with the excess that can come with living in the Big Apple.

According to SBS TV, the former Rakuten Eagles pitcher, who went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA last season, chartered a Boeing 787 Dreamliner from Japan Airlines to bring himself, four friends and family members and his toy poodle to New York for his introductory news conference scheduled for Tuesday.

The flight reportedly cost Tanaka $195,000, and according to SBS’ report, “Tanaka paid for the plane so he could take part in the team’s camp ‘in the best of form.’”

It’s unclear exactly why Tanaka needed 200 extra empty seats to make that happen, but we’re glad the dog had plenty of room to sniff around on the way over. Pitchers and catchers report Friday to the Yankees’ spring training facility in Tampa. No word yet on how he’s getting there.

Now, for some links:

• The IOC has banned tributes to late snowboarder Sarah Burke on helmets.

• Speaking of snowboarders, they are not pleased with the condition of the Olympic halfpipe.

• Oh, and if you become an Olympic snowboarder in Russia and put your phone number on your helmet, some people will send you naked photos.

• LeBron James held a personal dunk contest after practice in Phoenix:

• Tom Brady carded an eagle at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am:

• Nothing says “Olympic season in Russia” quite like Vladimir Putin body art.

• Before Smoothie King could put its name on the Pelicans’ arena, it had to pass a test declaring its products clear of PEDs. It failed.

• Poor Jared Lorenzen. Things were going so well for the 320-pound indoor league quarterback until he injured his leg and had to be carried off the field by four teammates:

• Georgia wide receiver Chris Conley really is filming a Star Wars tribute on campus, and it looks like he got Mark Richt to participate:

• OutSports has the story behind Michael Sam’s decision to come out.

• Brendon Ayanbadejo shares his thoughts on Sam’s announcement.

• Meanwhile, one USF football recruit offered up his opinions on the matter:

• Fortunately, someone restored faith in humanity and spelled out “SAM” in the snow at Missouri’s football field:

• Check out this collection of NFL logos redesigned as corporate logos.

• Richard Petty said the only way Danica Patrick ever wins a race is if she is racing against herself.

• Josh Gordon better hope he never has to change his number:

• More than 100 Illinois students pulled a sneak attack on the Penn State crowd:

• Could Ben McLemore try a 720 dunk in Saturday’s dunk contest?

• Blake Griffin says he would never participate in the dunk contest again.

• This guy is crazy athletic:

• Seems 7-foot-1 high school sophomore Thon Maker has some potential:

• Tim McCarver remembers Ralph Kiner.

• This is absolutely insane: