Thursday, 21st September 2023

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Ohtani, the pitcher with dirt on his uniform

Two-time double job ‘Showtime’ Shohei Otani
players of Japan should also show him awe rather than competition.

Shall we face him at the WBC match next month

스포츠토토They range from high school players to rookies and veterans.

There are always questions to ask them. “What kind of player is Ohtani from the point of view of professional baseball?”

The resolution is different, but the answer is generally in line with “He is an unrealistic player of a different class.”

Baseball Genius Ohtani
Japan’s Shohei Ohtani (29, LA Angels) is the player who best fits the title of ‘baseball genius’. The iconic picture of him is of him standing on the mound with his uniform soiled. He started out as a starting pitcher and later as a hitter, wielding hard hits and even stealing bases to get dirt on his clothes. A pitcher is a player who breaks the stereotype that dirt will never get on his clothes during a game.

Ohtani pioneered an unknown field that was considered impossible in modern baseball called ‘two-time pitching’. It’s not that I did it hard. If throwing, hitting, and running in the field is the essence of baseball, Ohtani is digesting all of these with top-notch skills in MLB (US Professional Baseball), where only the world’s best players gather.

Whenever I recite his grades, I get a surreal feeling.

In the 2021 season, when he doubled as a pitcher, Ohtani played 23 games as a pitcher and threw 130 1/3 innings, leaving 9 wins and 2 losses, an average ERA of 3.18, and 156 strikeouts. He also produced excellent results as a hitter (0.257 batting average, 46 home runs, 100 RBIs), and also recorded 26 stolen bases. He gave a fresh shock to modern baseball history and was unanimously selected as the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP).

In the 2022 season, he showed off more destructive pitching. He appeared in 28 games (166 innings) as a pitcher, posting 15 wins (9 losses), a 2.33 earned run average, and 219 strikeouts. At bat, he flew with a batting average of 0.273, 34 homers (95 RBIs). There were 11 stolen bases. Ohtani became the first player in MLB history to achieve a double-digit multiplier -30 home runs, and left an unprecedented milestone of filling both the pitcher’s innings (162 innings) and the batter’s at-bats (502 at-bats).

However, there was a ‘disadvantage’ that the impression of his grades was relatively less because of the perception that “Ohtani did Ohtani again”. No matter how amazing it is, it’s human nature that we can’t help but get used to seeing it over and over again. In the meantime, Aaron Judge (31, New York Yankees), who hit 62 home runs and wrote a new record for the most home runs in an AL single season, appeared, and the MVP award for the 2022 season was misfired.

Even if I told Judge to “stand on the mound,” it didn’t work. American baseball, which is crazy about home runs, and the cannon show he presented were so intense.

players’ players
Nevertheless, if you still choose a baseball player of baseball players, it is definitely a typo. This is because he is the only player who successfully fulfills the imaginary mission of double-tapping.

In particular, as he is expected to face Korea at the WBC (World Baseball Classic) next month, interest in Ohtani is heating up in Korea as well. Koo Chang-mo (26, NC) and Jung Woo-young (24, LG), the “young blood” pitchers of the Korean WBC national team, praised Ohtani as “definitely a different player” but said they wanted to play against him the most. They seemed to be in awe of Ohtani rather than competitive.

On the 17th, Ohtani attended a press conference at Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, where his team’s spring camp was being held, and spoke about his feelings ahead of the WBC Korea-Japan match.

Ohtani said, “I have seen many matches between Korea and Japan,” and “Korea is a good team.” He said, “The WBC Korean national team has changed a lot from the last time we faced it (2015 Premier 12).” I got good results in the last game, but (this time) I don’t know what will happen.”

It was an Ohtani-like remark. Although Ohtani is a superstar, he seldom puts himself out there and shows modesty in his words and actions. So even Korean fans have no choice but to give him a thumbs up. Seeing him reminds me of the proverb, ‘the more ripe the rice, the lower its head’. It is a famous anecdote that Ohtani picks up garbage at the stadium as a sign of good luck.

Of course, his skills are not modest. Ohtani was particularly strong in the encounter with Korea.

Ohtani, who had played for Japan at the 2015 Premier 12 tournament when he was 21 years old, started as a starting pitcher in the Group B opening game against Korea at the time and became the winning pitcher by tying up the Korean lineup with 2 hits and 10 strikeouts in 6 innings.

In the semifinals against Korea again, the bullpen collapsed and eventually lost 3-4, but as a starter, he showed off a more powerful pitch with 1 hit, 11 strikeouts and no runs in 7 innings. At this time, veteran Lee Yong-gyu (38, Kiwoom), who faced Ohtani, looked back on the time on a broadcast and said, “I was not a pitcher who could tell my juniors about the quality of pitching. He just said to feel it at the plate,” he said, sticking out his tongue.

Is there a player like Ohtani in domestic professional baseball?
Thanks to Ohtani, other baseball leagues are also changing into an atmosphere that actively encourages pitching.

KBO (Korea Baseball Organization) is known to show a forward-looking figure under the judgment that a player like Ohtani must come out for a baseball box office. Baseball officials also said, “It comes out in MLB, but there is no law that it will not come out in KBO. Domestic clubs also need to actively support high school players if they can do both rather than forcing them to play only one when they become pros.”In fact, professional baseball Kiwoom is eyeing Kim Kun-hee (19), a rookie who played both catcher and pitcher in high school baseball. Kim Kun-hee also expressed his will for this. He said that he dreams of a dramatic scene where he catches the pitcher’s ball, takes off his equipment, climbs onto the mound, and throws the ball. He even chose Ohtani as his idol.

WBC, Korea, and Ohtani
It is yet to be seen what Ohtani will look like in the 10th of next month in Japan’s WBC final round 1st round group B match against Korea. It is of utmost interest to see if he will also double as a pitcher in the WBC. If Japan suffers a shock defeat in the first match against China, the strongest starting card for Ohtani can be brought out during the match against Korea.

If Ohtani appears as a starting pitcher in the Korean game and wears a soiled uniform and shows a two-time double job, Showtime (Shohei + Showtime), it is expected that it will shock and frighten domestic baseball fans as well as people who have not normally watched baseball. see.

Perhaps we will never see a player like Ohtani again. Has there ever been a player who showed such a perfect figure in one sport? He seems like someone who was born to play baseball.

As such, Ohtani must be a special player produced by this era. Players from former baseball team coach Seon Dong-yeol, who made a name for himself as the ‘Mudeungsan Bomber’ during his active career, evaluated Ohtani as “one player in a century or less.”

Expectations are high to see what kind of drama will unfold in the Korea-Japan match, which will be held in about three weeks.

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