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Thursday, June 23, 2022

Shohei Ohtani follows up career-high 8-RBI night with career-high 13 Ks

It’s really important we don’t take Shohei Ohtani for granted.

The Los Angeles Angels pitcher is coming off the greatest two-way season in the history of MLB — yes, even better than Babe Ruth — and he may very well surpass it this year. He is a talented unprecedented in baseball, but he’s become so big it’s hard to even remember how impossible the idea of him seemed as a prospect.

So when he does something like, say, post a two-homer, eight-RBI performance, then strike out 13 batters across eight shutout innings, we should probably do our best to appreciate it. Therefore, let’s talk about the last two days.

Hombre Brotani Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:26 AM | 51 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, royals, shohei ohtani, world's most special boy

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   1. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: June 23, 2022 at 08:10 AM (#6083387)
This is just ####### stupid. People shouldn't be able to do this.
   2. Lassus Posted: June 23, 2022 at 08:31 AM (#6083389)
Between Ohtani and Trout it is legitimately and literally sad that the Angels are four games under .500. I want them to do better and I don't even care about the junior circuit! :-(
   3. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 09:28 AM (#6083395)
Too bad the Angels aren't in a time zone where more people could see Ohtani and Trout more often. And between them they've been in 3 more postseason games than Ernie Banks.
   4. Rally Posted: June 23, 2022 at 10:42 AM (#6083400)
Mid way through the game I was kind of expecting they’d find a way to have an 8 RBI game followed up with a 10+k, 7 scoreless inning effort by the same player and still lose both. They were only up 1-0 for most of it. I figured Shohei would go 7 and the bullpen would blow it. Nice to see him go 8 and the Angels add on a few runs at the end.
   5. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6083404)
Too bad the Angels aren't in a time zone where more people could see Ohtani and Trout more often.


These comments are so weird. I don't know where we get this idea that the only way to see him play is to stay up until the wee hours of the morning. Yes, they're on late more than the Yankees or White Sox would be. But

The Angels have 51 remaining games starting at 8:10 EST or earlier.
They've already played 20 day games.
5 of their 6 games in NY and Boston were 7:10 local time starts.

I'm not going game by game through all of their already played games, but that's, at least, 76 of his games starting at 8:10 or earlier. It's fair to say that more than half their games this season will be played at 8:10 or earlier, EST. That's hardly prohibitive viewing schedule.

   6. gef the talking mongoose, peppery hostile Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:26 AM (#6083406)
I'm not going game by game through all of their already played games, but that's, at least, 76 of his games starting at 8:10 or earlier. It's fair to say that more than half their games this season will be played at 8:10 or earlier, EST. That's hardly prohibitive viewing schedule.


If you gave certain people $100 bills, they'd whine because the paper was wrinkled or they didn't like the serial numbers.
   7. Ithaca2323 Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:46 AM (#6083409)
If you gave certain people $100 bills, they'd whine because the paper was wrinkled or they didn't like the serial numbers.


I'm convinced people still just operate like it's 1985, and unless you're watching the game live, you were basically hoping for a 45-second Angels highlight on the morning sports show before you went to work.

If he does something remarkable today, the highlight is everywhere, immediately, forever.

Type his name into YouTube. The MLB channel has a 5 and a half minute highlight package showing his 8 RBIs from Tuesday's game, and it's been viewed 272,000 times already.

The channel also has a 20-minute clip of his 2021 highlights and it's been viewed 1.2 million times.

Heck, they have clips of his individual home runs from last year with over a million views.

And still so many people operate as though he's toiling in obscurity because little Johnny can't stay up until 10:30, and how will he ever know about Ohtani unless he does???
   8. SoSH U at work Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6083413)
I'm convinced people still just operate like it's 1985,


To be fair, Andy's often operating like 1985 is 20 years from now.
   9. KronicFatigue Posted: June 23, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6083424)
I mostly agree with #7, but it's still different.

Personally (and I know others who are like this), watching sports on a delay feels a little off. I do it because I hate commercials, but sometimes I'll jump ahead to "live" because it feels weird to watch sports after it's already happened. That's illogical, I know.

But slightly less illogical is my disinterest in watching sports that I already know the results of. If I'm late to a soccer match, and get spoiled on the score, I won't start from the beginning. That part of game is forever lost to me. Likewise, if I step away from the screen and my team scores, I actually have mixed emotions. Yay, my team scored, but damn, I missed it.

A big chunk of sports is "experiencing it". And out of all the sports, baseballs' highlights are the most similar to each other. Football and basketball provide more unique highlights than baseball; homeruns all kinda look similar, as do strikeouts (or at least highlight packages that show the 3rd strikes for all the strikeouts).

Experiencing Ohtani's games in real time live is different than watching a package the next day. 13k's spread over two hours feels different than reading about it, and then clicking on the video to see 13 guys swing and miss in rapid succession.

But again, I MOSTLY agree with 7.
   10. The Mighty Quintana Posted: June 23, 2022 at 01:03 PM (#6083425)
Alas, in my youth, I went to 20 live games a year. And then, I went to a couple a year, but I watched or listened to 50 live games a year. And then, I got MLB.tv and I just watched a bunch of in-game cut-ins (semi-live). And now, I just watch the canned highlight packages. Something has been lost....
   11. Adam Starblind Posted: June 23, 2022 at 01:09 PM (#6083426)
I wouldn't lump Ohtani in with Trout either--he's more interesting than Trout in a lot of ways. 2-way player vs. centerfielder; from Japan vs. from NJ; kooky personality vs. no detectable personality.

   12. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6083430)

These comments are so weird. I don't know where we get this idea that the only way to see him play is to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

Agreed. Also, if he played on the East Coast then people in the Pacific Time Zone would miss his games because they'd still be at work when the games start.
   13. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 01:52 PM (#6083434)
FWIW I've seen Ohtani play plenty of times via Extra Innings. But not everyone has access to that, or to mlb.tv, which leaves most viewers who want to see him left mostly with highlight videos / YouTube, which isn't the same thing as seeing him live.

Oh, and about 3 times as many people live in the Eastern time zone as live in the Pacific time zone. You can say "so what? Californians are people, too", but it remains a fact that it limits Ohtani's national exposure.
   14. Adam Starblind Posted: June 23, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6083439)
For what it’s worth, Ohtani’s all-star votes as a DH far exceed his productivity this season. He’s behind only Alvarez among AL DHs, ahead of any on the east coast.
   15. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 23, 2022 at 02:19 PM (#6083444)
Oh, and about 3 times as many people live in the Eastern time zone as live in the Pacific time zone.
That isn’t a reason to use East Coast starting times for West Coast sporting events. Westerners buy tickets to games, too; these aren’t studio shows.
   16. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 02:23 PM (#6083445)
You seem to be confusing the factual point I was making with some sort of moral issue. It isn't.
   17. oscar madisox Posted: June 23, 2022 at 02:52 PM (#6083455)
In the last nine games the Angels played that were not on the West Coast, Ohtani is 6-for 36 batting, and in nine innings pitched allowed 14 hits and 6 runs (one good start, one bad). The Angels lost all 9.

Maybe he should stay on Pacific time.

   18. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 02:58 PM (#6083459)
For what it’s worth, Ohtani’s all-star votes as a DH far exceed his productivity this season. He’s behind only Alvarez among AL DHs, ahead of any on the east coast.


There's this kind of interesting problem with Ohtani. He's been good-not-great both at the plate and on the hill. But that adds up to a great player. It would be a travesty to leave him off the all star team, really. But his hitting doesn't qualify as all-star quality this year, and his pitching just barely does. I guess the solution is to toss him out there to throw and inning, but the point of Ohtani is that he does both. Fans don't really get what they come for if he only shows up on one side of the ball.
   19. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 23, 2022 at 03:47 PM (#6083471)
I wouldn't lump Ohtani in with Trout either--he's more interesting than Trout in a lot of ways. 2-way player vs. centerfielder; from Japan vs. from NJ; kooky personality vs. no detectable personality.
Okay, this seems a bit unfair. Trout's just one of those guys who is low-key and as steady as a mountain range. He stuffs stadium grass in his pockets because his dad used to do that to symbolize giving his mom "the world." At a high school tournament, he declined a chance to join a regional all-star squad because he didn't want to abandon his teammates. He married his high school girlfriend. He signed to stay with the team that drafted him. He's the commissioner for his fantasy football league because no one else would do it.

See a pattern? Mike Trout is the guy who will help you move.
   20. Adam Starblind Posted: June 23, 2022 at 03:50 PM (#6083473)

There's this kind of interesting problem with Ohtani. He's been good-not-great both at the plate and on the hill. But that adds up to a great player. It would be a travesty to leave him off the all star team, really. But his hitting doesn't qualify as all-star quality this year, and his pitching just barely does. I guess the solution is to toss him out there to throw and inning, but the point of Ohtani is that he does both. Fans don't really get what they come for if he only shows up on one side of the ball.


Agreed.

Anyway, I'm on the East Coast. Ohtani is getting more attention than any other player in baseball, Judge included.
   21. Walt Davis Posted: June 23, 2022 at 03:53 PM (#6083474)
But not everyone has access to that, or to mlb.tv,

If you live in NYC and don't have those things, you don't get to see Acuna either. Or Cubs games or any games outside of your local market except the occasional ESPN, Fox, etc. broadcast. So you think every Angels game should start on Eastern time AND be carried on national cable/broadcast TV?

Logically it's old farts like Andy (and I) who should be making the "it's called the internet stupid" point because we remember when the best you could hope for was This Week in Baseball. That didn't seem to hinder Willie Mays' stardom after the move to San Fran, I recall Steve Garvey All-American hero, Fernandomania, Magic Johnson. Did NBA fans watch Cavs games to see LeBron rather than watch their own team's games?

It's true that many people can't afford cable at all much less the sports package much less Extra Innings/mlb.tv or even a ISP. And other than football, those folks won't be able to watch much sports at all. The Angels starting their games earlier or even Mike Trout on the Yankees isn't going to change that.
   22. The Yankee Clapper Posted: June 23, 2022 at 04:58 PM (#6083483)
In the last nine games the Angels played that were not on the West Coast, Ohtani is 6-for 36 batting, and in nine innings pitched allowed 14 hits and 6 runs (one good start, one bad). The Angels lost all 9.
Time zone splits, the next sabermetric breakthrough!
   23. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:11 PM (#6083487)
How old are you people? His games start at 10. Watch a couple hours and go to sleep. Sure, you miss the end of the game, but Ohtani isn't pitching by then, and most baseball games are effectively decided by that point anyway.

I live on the east coast and love watching west coast games. By 10 I'm done with work, the kid is in bed, etc. Any earlier and I can't really watch the game.
   24. SoSH U at work Posted: June 23, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6083492)
How old are you people?


I think I speak for most of us when I say, pretty damn old.
   25. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 06:07 PM (#6083502)
I'm twice as old as I was when I made my first posts on Old Primer.

Wow. I don't think I had put that together until just now.
   26. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: June 23, 2022 at 06:51 PM (#6083512)
How old are you people?


Well the guy who constantly complains about not seeing any West coast games is like 105 and fondly remembers when the price of a game was a nickel.
The rest of us, and I'm taking a wild-arse guess, are between 45-65.

My kids are grown, but I totally get what you are saying about not being able to settle down to watch something until after 9:00pm.

   27. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 23, 2022 at 07:08 PM (#6083515)
See a pattern? Mike Trout is the guy who will help you move.


Sure. But will he drive you to the airport?
   28. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: June 23, 2022 at 07:15 PM (#6083516)
Sure. But will he drive you to the airport?


No, because he's already there, volunteering his time to monitor the weather for air traffic control.
   29. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 23, 2022 at 07:17 PM (#6083517)
He'll show up early, and then not complain when you're late getting out, and he'll still get you to your flight on time.

What he won't do is start games mid-day west coast, because there are plenty of ways for east coasters to watch him play.
   30. Accent Shallow only believes what it believes Posted: June 23, 2022 at 07:25 PM (#6083519)
What he won't do is start games mid-day west coast, because there are plenty of ways for east coasters to watch him play.


I do think MLB could do a better job of promoting its stars, but it shouldn't let Trout make the schedule, no matter how many WAR he puts up.
   31. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 10:44 PM (#6083639)
If you live in NYC and don't have those things, you don't get to see Acuna either. Or Cubs games or any games outside of your local market except the occasional ESPN, Fox, etc. broadcast. So you think every Angels game should start on Eastern time AND be carried on national cable/broadcast TV?

Again, I didn't say the Angels should start their games on Eastern time. As others have noted, that wouldn't exactly be fair to most Angels fans, who live in California or other nearby states. I'm simply saying that having the majority of their games winding up when the majority of the country is in bed impacts the ability of most of the country to see Ohtani (and Trump) live.

Logically it's old farts like Andy (and I) who should be making the "it's called the internet stupid" point because we remember when the best you could hope for was This Week in Baseball. That didn't seem to hinder Willie Mays' stardom after the move to San Fran, I recall Steve Garvey All-American hero, Fernandomania, Magic Johnson.

Back then there were also newspapers with sports sections that actually covered ball games, newspapers that people actually read. The expectations for live coverage were different than they are today for non-casual fans.

----------------

How old are you people? His games start at 10. Watch a couple hours and go to sleep. Sure, you miss the end of the game, but Ohtani isn't pitching by then, and most baseball games are effectively decided by that point anyway.

I'm almost 78 (going on 106) and I don't like to start watching games when I know they're not going to end until well after midnight. I love Ohtani and Trout, but not that much to watch partial games, unless the Angels are playing the Yankees or it's a postseason game, a game that may not actually take place until Ohtani is 107. I'll stay up to watch a 7:00 or 8:00 game that's close and runs late, but "runs late" there doesn't mean 1:00 or 2:00.
   32. Howie Menckel Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:15 PM (#6083654)
I wouldn't lump Ohtani in with Trout either--he's more interesting than Trout in a lot of ways. 2-way player vs. centerfielder; from Japan vs. from NJ

a number of now-multi-millionaire producers of "reality shows" that have been focused on NJ for the last 15-20 years would quibble about being from that state being a limiting quality to commercial success. it's a feature, not a bug.

but how boring Trout is? sure, that's a key. but that's not NJ's fault
   33. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 23, 2022 at 11:36 PM (#6083658)
Saying Ohtani is more interesting than Trout is like saying Ruth was more interesting than Aaron. It's a true but somewhat So What observation when you consider Trout's level of everything.
   34. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 24, 2022 at 06:27 AM (#6083669)
Just imagine if Ohtani and Trout played for a good team, in a time zone where people were actually awake to watch their games!

I'm simply saying that having the majority of their games winding up when the majority of the country is in bed impacts the ability of most of the country to see Ohtani (and Trump) live.

That's either a Freudian slip or the worst auto-correct ever.
   35. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2022 at 07:20 AM (#6083673)
I'm simply saying that having the majority of their games winding up when the majority of the country is in bed impacts the ability of most of the country to see Ohtani (and Trump) live.

That's either a Freudian slip or the worst auto-correct ever.


Nah, it's just that we're exposed to Trump so much that his brain habits are sometimes catching.
   36. Adam Starblind Posted: June 24, 2022 at 08:17 AM (#6083676)
Okay, this seems a bit unfair. Trout's just one of those guys who is low-key and as steady as a mountain range. He stuffs stadium grass in his pockets because his dad used to do that to symbolize giving his mom "the world." At a high school tournament, he declined a chance to join a regional all-star squad because he didn't want to abandon his teammates. He married his high school girlfriend. He signed to stay with the team that drafted him. He's the commissioner for his fantasy football league because no one else would do it.

See a pattern? Mike Trout is the guy who will help you move.


Sounds like a great neighbor. On the other hand, he was far less than great when ESPN put the headset on him for Sunday Night Baseball. I just wanted it to stop.
   37. Adam Starblind Posted: June 24, 2022 at 08:21 AM (#6083677)
Saying Ohtani is more interesting than Trout is like saying Ruth was more interesting than Aaron. It's a true but somewhat So What observation when you consider Trout's level of everything.


Ruth was a national celebrity beyond being "just" a sports celebrity in a way Aaron was not. I'd take either of them on my baseball team, but we're talking about why Trout and Ohtani don't get enough attention. My point is that I disagree with the premise as to Ohtani, and the two of them aren't in the same bucket in terms of national interest.
   38. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2022 at 08:49 AM (#6083678)
but we're talking about why Trout and Ohtani don't get enough attention. My point is that I disagree with the premise as to Ohtani, and the two of them aren't in the same bucket in terms of national interest.

That also applied to Ruth and Aaron, which was my point. Ruth and Ohtani brought in the sort of casual fans who otherwise have little interest in baseball.** Before Aaron's pursuit of Ruth attracted non-sports media attention in the first weeks of the 1974 season, Aaron's career was almost a perfect harbinger of Trout's.

** Though for different reasons: Ruth because of his unprecedented slugging feats and colorful personality; Ohtani for his Japanese background and his unique post-Ruthian blend of pitching and hitting talent.

   39. Adam Starblind Posted: June 24, 2022 at 08:53 AM (#6083679)
We agree on all of that. I was responding to the "So what" part. If by "so what" you mean who cares what players get national attention, then we agree on that too.
   40. Lassus Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:29 AM (#6083684)
But his hitting doesn't qualify as all-star quality this year, and his pitching just barely does.
Agreed.


I suppose I'm not following hard enough, but this surprised me.
   41. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: June 24, 2022 at 11:15 AM (#6083697)
Nah, it's just that we're exposed to Trump so much that his brain habits are sometimes catching.

He's been living rent-free in the typical Primate brain for seven years now. I'd say it's 50/50 he gets re-elected, which would be both hilarious and terrifying.
   42. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: June 24, 2022 at 11:37 AM (#6083700)
So how does 50/50 translate into an actual wager? You can have Trout---I mean Trump---at even money in a proverbial New York minute.
   43. TDF, trained monkey Posted: June 24, 2022 at 11:39 AM (#6083701)
To those of you asserting how easy it is to watch Angels games, LA is closer to NY than it is to Honolulu, and MLB.tv blacks out the Angels in their "home television territory" of Honolulu.

So keep your big traps shut, or MLB.tv might get ideas.
   44. TDF, trained monkey Posted: June 24, 2022 at 12:01 PM (#6083704)
But his hitting doesn't qualify as all-star quality this year, and his pitching just barely does.
OPS+ of 132 (t-20th in the AL), 10th in the AL in bWAR for pitchers (especially impressive considering he hasn't pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title).

I'd say you're being tough on the guy.
   45. Astroenteritis Posted: June 24, 2022 at 01:27 PM (#6083721)
One of the many great joys of retirement is that I can stay up as late as I want watching baseball, with no negative side effects at all. This comes in especially handy with the Astros being in the AL West.
   46. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 24, 2022 at 03:39 PM (#6083739)
I've long contended that I live in the best time zone simply because there is many a summer's day when I get baseball from 10 am until 10 PM.
   47. Hombre Brotani Posted: June 24, 2022 at 03:51 PM (#6083740)
But his hitting doesn't qualify as all-star quality this year, and his pitching just barely does.
OPS+ of 132 (t-20th in the AL), 10th in the AL in bWAR for pitchers (especially impressive considering he hasn't pitched enough to qualify for the ERA title).
Ohtani's all-star hitting problem isn't that he's a big slouch, but that Yordan Álvarez and J.D. Martinez are crushing it as DHs.

Pitching-wise, he's got 2-3 fewer starts than the other starters, but is 8th in ERA and 6th in Ks. He's a solid All-Star pitcher.
   48. SandyRiver Posted: June 24, 2022 at 05:50 PM (#6083751)
From #19:
See a pattern? Mike Trout is the guy who will help you move.

He's also a weather nerd like me, and his home town is only 20 miles from my grandkids. What's not to love.
   49. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2022 at 06:27 PM (#6083758)
The notion of "Ohtani, huge national star" is not as firm as we might like. In the AS voting released a couple of days ago, he trails Alvarez by 280,000 votes. That might be "correct" from a value standpoint but a "face of baseball" type ought to be running circles around Yordan Alvarez.

I think we might be seeing the influence of stats on the internet voters. These days the basic stats are right there on the ballot and the fancier stats are obviously easily available. Alvarez is even outpolling Altuve on his own team; Ohtani only has 58,000 more votes than Taylor Ward for crying out loud; Ty France of the Ms has more votes. There are a whole lot of voters just looking at 60 games of raw stats.

I hadn't realized that the AS vote is now a 2-step process. After this round, there's a runoff among the top 2 at each position (the top 6 OF) although the top vote-getter in each league gets a bye and goes straight to the starting lineup. I wonder how many folks bother to show up for phase 2 voting.

Anyway, I started writing this post thinking Ohtani was obviously leading the DH voting and, even if he wasn't, he's so popular obviously MLB will name him to the team; I'm leaving this post not sure Ohtani is as popular as we think. The best-case scenario here is that the casual fan in the stands who knows Ohtani doesn't bother to go online to vote.
   50. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: June 24, 2022 at 06:45 PM (#6083759)
No, because he's already there, volunteering his time to monitor the weather for air traffic control.

He'll show up early, and then not complain when you're late getting out, and he'll still get you to your flight on time.


You guys missed the obvious Seinfeld/Keith Hernandez joke.
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: June 24, 2022 at 09:06 PM (#6083768)
can confirm

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