At some point, we all get old. And when we get old, we apparently forget about what it was like to be young. Case in point: Reggie Jackson, who tells Bob Nightengale of USA Today that he doesn’t like to see showboating among today’s players:
“What I’m seeing these days, and some of the arrogance, I feel like walking up, and saying, ‘What’s wrong with you? You can’t play. That’s not style. It’s a goofy act.’ “I know it’s entertainment, but if you have style and can’t play, then you’re nothing more than a fool. I see a lot of fools out there.”
I appreciate the “do something before you act arrogant” idea, but this is pretty rich coming from a guy who called himself “the straw that stirs the drink” in the Bronx before he even had a single at bat as a Yankee. Yes, he walked the walk. But he talked the talk first and has rarely ceased talking it, even many years after his career ended.
As for young players today: how dare they have fun!
Sure, spring training games don’t count toward anything “real,” but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Angels’ star pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani mowing down his first big league competitors.
On Saturday, Ohtani took the mound against the Brewers for his first official outing in an Angels uniform. After allowing a leadoff double to Jonathan Villar, the 23-year-old righty settled down and issued a three-pitch strikeout to Nate Orf, his first of the spring.
It wasn’t the cleanest inning for the right-hander: the Brewers plated their first run on a walk, wild pitch and subsequent throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado. Ohtani didn’t let things unravel further, however, and induced a pop-up for the second out before catching Brett Phillips looking on a called strike three to end the inning.
While the two-way phenom only lasted another two batters (a Keon Broxton dinger finished him off in the second), he’s already started to look like a formidable presence on the mound. Time will tell whether he can deliver at the plate as well — rumor has it he could feature in the Angels’ lineup as soon as Monday.