Ohtani’s request for quiet shows he has 5 things to learn about American baseball


A funny thing happened at a baseball game in Kansas City over the weekend. And by “funny” we mean “spectacularly wrong-headed, colossally misguided and just plain unnatural.”

Here’s what occurred, per USA Today: Three women, exchange students from Japan, spent the early innings of a game between the Royals and Angels screaming in an attempt to attract the attention of Shohei Ohtani, the Angels’ mold-breaking, two-way phenom.

By and by, a stadium usher paid a visit to the women. He was bearing a request from the Angels dugout: Could the women please keep their voices to a dull roar when Ohtani is at the plate?

They complied.

There are approximately 492 problems with this scenario. In the interest of brevity, we submit the most egregious 5.

1. Ohtani comes from Japan for heck’s sake. Japanese baseball games feature cheerleaders. A post on the website jpninfo.com, endeavoring to explain the difference between a baseball game in Japan and what we experience in the United States:

“In Japan there are whole bleacher sections appropriated for each team, complete with drums and specific cheers for each and every player. It is not uncommon to have a sea of people in matching colors sitting in a section cheering in a choreographed manner.”

Has the man never been greeted on the field with wild, fawning, over-the-top caterwauling? I’d bet my VHS tape of “Mr. Baseball” on it.

2. Bobby Bonilla once had a semi-similar problem. Signed to a staggering (at the time) five-year, $29 million contract by the Mets before the 1992 season, Bonilla’s production dropped precipitously. The New York fans did what New York fans do — they booed. In fact, they hooted so long and so loud that Bonilla began wearing earplugs on the field.

Google assures me that “earplugs” translates to “mimisen” in Japanese. For what Ohtani is making, he could buy millions of mimisens.

3. Ohtani’s interpreter told reporters the call for quiet was at Otahni’s behest. “He’s thankful for the cheers,” the interpreter told USA Today, “but at the plate, he likes to focus and block out the noise.” Ohtani gave that explanation the Heisman.

“I wasn’t the one that asked for (quiet),” he said. “(The Angels) just did it so everyone could focus at the plate.”

That ‘s a superstar move right there, hanging your mouthpiece out to dry while positioning yourself as decidedly low-maintenance.

4. If you have 5:59, cozy up with this video of Bob Welch and Reggie Jackson battling …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Sports

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