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Angels’ Shohei Ohtani weighs in on being the face of baseball, addresses Stephen A. Smith criticisms

Angels’ Shohei Ohtani weighs in on being the face of baseball, addresses Stephen A. Smith criticisms
Shohei-Ohtani-Getty-FTR-093018
(Getty Pictures)

Shohei Ohtani is all of the expose — and he welcomes the premise.

After an fully ancient season by any measure of the observe, the Angels’ two-come celebrity nearly straight surpassed teammate Mike Trout to become the preeminent (and considerably legendary) “face of baseball” in 2021. 

Ohtani, winner of the 2021 Sporting Files Participant of the twelve months award, the 2021 Athlete of the twelve months award, additionally added a unanimous AL MVP different for his efforts on the self-discipline. Those awards join his 2018 Rookie of the twelve months award on the mantle.

It would maybe per chance well wisely be intangible, but it sounds treasure “face of baseball” capacity the most to the celebrity.

Speaking for a prolonged feature in GQ, Ohtani weighed in on his standing on changing into the face of baseball, adding that he welcomes the burden that contains being the sport’s most fascinating ambassador:

Bigger than stress. I’m in fact cheerful to listen to that. It be what I came right here for, to be the most handy player I’m in a position to. And hearing “the face of baseball,” that’s very welcoming to me, and it offers me extra motivation to — attributable to I’ve handiest had, this modified into my first genuinely correct twelve months. And it’s handiest one twelve months. So it offers me extra motivation to preserve it up, and have extra huge years.

MORE: 2021 Sporting Files MLB awards — Ohtani is game’s high player

Among diverse issues, Ohtani addressed the nonsensical criticism of ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who in July mentioned that Ohtani’s lack of opt on English a formulation or the other damaged the sport extra than his play on-self-discipline helped it.

I mean, if I would maybe per chance talk English, I would talk English. Clearly I would opt to. Clearly it would no longer injure to be in a space to talk English. There would handiest be obvious issues to advance from that. But I came right here to play baseball, on the stop of the day, and I’ve felt treasure my play on the self-discipline would be my come of communicating with the other folks, with the followers. That is all I in fact took from that within the stop. 

Ohtani’s 2021 season modified into among the many most fascinating within the historical past of the sport — or any sport. At the dish, Ohtani mashed 46 house runs with a .965 OPS. On the rubber, he started 23 video games, pitching to a 3.18 ERA over 130 innings. 

The phenom’s 2021 performance puts him staunchly in a one-of-very-few category. Now, he’s 1-of-1 because the face of the sport.

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