Masahiro Tanaka
(Photo: Ron Schwane, AP)

Masahiro Tanaka kicked off this week from the top rope, coming to the defense of Gary Sanchez on Twitter.

If you gave me 24 guesses of which player on the active roster would get into a Twitter beef with a reporter, I would not have guessed correctly.

Masahiro Tanaka, from out of nowhere, came to his catcher’s defense after a disparaging article written by Phil Mushnick of the New York Post.

The title of the article? “Gary Sanchez doesn’t know a thing about baseball.”

Jomboy may have elaborated at the end there but the heart of the tweet is true. Tanaka entered a Twitter beef in defense of his catcher and I love it.

Of course, I don’t agree with Mushnick’s take at all. Gary Sanchez just became the fastest American League player ever to reach 100 career home runs. Every pitcher on the staff will tell you that Sanchez calls a fantastic game behind the plate.

His raw talent is undeniable and his defense has taken a huge step forward this year. He’s clearly learning how to be the best ballplayer he can be and it’s showing.

You don’t get to be the best catcher in the game if you don’t know a thing about baseball.

However, the real story here is Tanaka’s tweet. He very easily could have just brushed it off. I’m sure plenty of people walked up to Sanchez in the clubhouse and expressed their disagreement with the article.

But Tanaka took it a step further. He went out of his way to make a public statement condemning the article. Even better, he didn’t even provide a link to it, as to prevent any further clicks for the page. It was a veteran Twitter-beef move from a guy I never expected to get in the internet mud.

The biggest takeaway from the exchange is don’t mess with Tanaka’s teammates. He will call you out publicly and Yankees fans will rally around him.

Lifetime ballplayer and Yankee fan. Strongly believe that the eye-test and advanced stats can be used together instead of against each other.