Yesterday, after Angels batting practice, a six-year-old kid asked Shohei Ohtani for his bat. Ohtani did what most players would do in that situation: he laughed, signed some autographs, but held on to his bat and then left.
But then a few minutes later he came back to where the kid was and handed him a bat. An official Shohei Ohtani model, with his name on it in Kanji. Ohtani later told an MLB.com reporter, through his interpreter, “Hopefully he can swing with that and become a good player one day, but I can’t be doing this all the time. I’ll run out of bats.”
Here’s the request:
Ohtani had at least one more bat in his bag, of course, and he used it to DH in last night’s game against the Royals. In the seventh inning the Angels broke the game wide open, thanks in part to Ohtani’s bases-clearing triple:
The season is 14-games old, yet Ohtani’s legend is already substantial and continues to grow.
Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.
Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.
Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”
Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.