It's that one time of the year where Stephen A. Smith tries to talk baseball and boy does he have a take. Forgive me for giving ESPN and First Take an ounce of time but this was too stupid and ignorant to let slide. Stephen A. does not think Shohei Ohtani can be the face of baseball because he uses an interpreter and doesn't speak English to the American media. In the extended clip here Smith goes on to say he thinks Shohei being the box office appeal to the sport of baseball actually harms the game because.... he uses an interpreter. WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT DUDE?
I don't even understand the original question asking if it's good for MLB that Shohei is the number 1 attraction in baseball. He consistently hits bombs and pitches at an above average level how is that a question? He's the first player to make the All Star team as a pitcher and hitter in the same season. This dude is doing stuff us humans have quite literally never seen before. We all read about Babe Ruth, but seeing it in person in 2021 at this level is beyond fucking awesome. It seems like every single night he's blasting a ball to the moon. His 33 bombs paces all of baseball by 5 at the break. The 2nd highest OPS in the sport just behind Vladdy Jr. Dude is make believe. If the Earth is around in 100 years they will still be talking about Ohtani as long as he keeps this up.
Oh yeah and he's making a start on the mound every 5th day while doing all this at the plate. Take out his implosion in The Bronx two weeks ago and his ERA is 2.58. Since April 27th he's allowed 3 runs or more just twice.
It's completely unbelievable what Shohei Ohtani has brought over to America, but again Stephen A. doesn't think he can be THE guy because he uses a translator. Fuck off.
He tried to back track later after probably realizing what he said was flat out ridiculous or his bosses made him. Dude should just apologize and move on, trying to clear this up isn't gonna help.
The weirdest part of this is that just a week ago he was begging for Ohtani to have more promotion.
So which one is it Stephen A? Should we stop putting all our eggs in one basket because he's not entirely comfortable speaking to the media on his own, or is he a once in a lifetime generational talent that MLB needs to back with all of their marketing power known to man?
The funny thing behind all of this, which Stephen A. certainly has no idea about, is that Shohei actually speaks English. Again, it doesn't matter what language he speaks, but he does speak it fairly well just for the record. Here's a two minute clip of him at an awards ceremony speaking English.
I'd go as far to say he knows the English language better than Marty Mush. Again, besides the point here, but felt worth noting.
The reason Ohtani uses a translator is probably for 2 reasons. 1) Most importantly he wants to make sure his words don't get twisted by the media and turned into click bait headlines. You see it all the fucking time. Reporters want to make a story out of everything they can get their hands on. If English isn't a player's preferred language when talking then I see no issue at all using a translator and making sure exactly what they wanna say is being said. 2) Shohei has a massive following back home in Japan and I bet he likes speaking Japanese to the media here so they can have it heard back home no problem. It's all with the best intentions and none of us should give two shits about what language he's talking in.
But nah according to Stephen A. baseball part of the reason baseball is dying is because Ohtani doesn't prefer English to the media. Get lost pal. Ichiro NEVER spoke English to the media and he was an icon. Hideki Matsui was BELOVED in New York and never spoke English either. Think we cared? No, he was the man and Yankee fans immortalized him. It's fucking nonsense to say Ohtani, the modern day Babe Ruth, can't be the face of baseball because he doesn't speak our country's language. Just watch him play and you'll be blown away. This man is starting on the mound for the AL in tomorrow night's All Star Game while also leading off and remaining in the game as the DH after. What are we talking about here? Not only is he great for baseball, he's likely the best thing that's happened to the sport in a long, long time.
I'm fully expecting tonight's MLB HR derby to be the most watched one ever and the same with the All Star Game tomorrow. The hype building around it is insane and I cannot wait to tune in. Barstool will be live streaming in the Gambling Cave. All respect to Shohei but he is chalk tonight and Joey Gallo is where the value is at per Megan Makin Money. Let's ride +550.