Is Ohtani Afraid of the Limelight?

There are two major player stories circling around the MLB offseason. One has solidified himself as one of the best power hitters in baseball, the other has only played professionally in Japan, yet has so much hyped around him that he’s known as the “Japanse Babe Ruth“.

We know Giancarlo Stanton can play in this league, and will soon be on a new team once the Marlins find the right deal. Though Shohei Ohtani can choose where he plays, yet his wants are questionable.

Reports have stated that Ohtani, the man who can both pitch and hit, would prefer to play for a small market team and on the West Coast. He’s gone as far as to already decline the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees from even pitching him an idea.

Quite frankly, if he doesn’t want to play under the big lights on large stages, I wouldn’t particularly want him on my team.

You really want to play for a small market team to be away from the media? News flash, buddy, you’re being compared to Babe Ruth! The media will follow you wherever you go. To say you don’t want to play somewhere that would put you more under the spotlight is soft at best.

Ever hear of Hideki Matsui? He exponentailly made his career better by playing for the Yankees. He won a World Series and now has his number retired with other Yankee greats. If there was any time to sign in New York it would absolutely be right now, coming off from being one game away from making it to the World Series.

The same goes for if you wanted to play for the Red Sox. Boston has an already substantially reliable hitting lineup, mixed in with Chris Sale and David Price as your top pitchers. If you want to play both in the field and pitch every 5 days, there’s not more of an ideal spot to do so.

Ohtani deciding he doesn’t want to play for the big wigs really makes me think he doesn’t have the guts to make it far as a successful baseball player. He’s afraid to be one of the greats, and would rather have some heat taken off of him.

I personally think the hype of a Japanese player coming over to the majors always gets overrated. I mean, the list of players who achieved great careers during their time here is limited to very little. You have Matsui and Ichiro as stars, than someone like Masahiro Tanaka is slightly better than average. Yu Darvish had a chance, but we all saw what happened as he imploded at the World Series.

For every Ichiro you have there is 5 Kaz Matsui’s and Daisuke Matsuzaka’s. I’m not buying into another player coming over until they really blow you away. Majority of these guys either don’t live up to expectations or have a career scattered by injury and other events.

Settling for a 2nd rate, leniently criticizing media city sound like Shohei Ohtani is a guy that can’t handle pressure. Why come here in the first place if you don’t want to be a star? I don’t think he reliazes the amount of coverage he’ll get anyway, not just from being a Japanse player from Japanese media, but a guy who’s going to be a pitcher and regular hitting player. That’s crazy in itself.

Bottom line is Ohtani’s scared of the big stage. Give me Stanton and his contract over him. Leaving pitchers to pitch and hitters to hit has been working for decades now. Getting this player won’t move mountains, and neither will he since those mountains will be to big of a market for him.


Matthew Matera is a contributing writer for Follow him on Twitter @matty4_matera2, “Like” him on Facebook and add him to your Google network

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