May 19, 2024
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Shohei Ohtani – Los Angeles Dodgers Designated Hitter

Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani is a Japanese baseball pitcher and is in the news because of his former translator.  His translator has pleaded guilty to US accusations of unlawfully transferring approximately $17 million (£14 million) from the athlete’s bank account. Shohei, currently 29, is shocked and sad that someone he trusted has broken his trust.

Earlier, Shohei had signed a $700 million contract for ten years with the Dodgers before this season and became the face of the franchise. Ohtani also won his second unanimous American League MVP award. He married Mamiko Tanaka and has been a constant champion since 2018.

Know Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani is a professional Japanese pitcher born on July 5, 1994. He currently serves as a DH for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is popularly known as Showtime and has played for Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Angels.

Ohtani’s peak is regarded as one of the best in baseball history due to his exceptional abilities as a pitcher and hitter, which are uncommon for players who can play two positions. Some even draw comparisons of him with Babe Ruth’s early career. He was also the first pick for the Fighters in the 2012 draft.

He played outfield and pitcher for the Fighters in the NPB from 2013 to 2017, during which he contributed to the team’s 2016 Japan Series victory. The Fighters moved Ohtani to Major League Baseball (MLB) following the 2017 season. After a brief stint with the Angels, he was named the American League (AL) Rookie of the Year in 2018.     

Ohtani’s Career After His Injury

Ohtani had an injury-plagued 2019 and 2020 season. However, 2021 is considered the most incredible season for him. In one season, he became the only player in MLB history to have 10+ home runs, 20+ stolen bases, 100+ strikeouts, and 10+ pitching appearances as a pitcher.

He also has at least a share of the major league lead in home runs and 14 starts. Because of his achievements, he was awarded the American League Most Valuable Player Award for 2021. Following this, he made history in 2022 by being the first player in the modern period to qualify for the leaderboards in both hitting and pitching in the same season. With 586 at-bats and 166 innings pitched, he met the requirements of 3.1 plate appearances and one inning pitched per game.

Shohei’s Other Achievements

In 2023, Ohtani wrapped up another incredible season. He became the only player in MLB history to have 40 home runs and ten victories at the end of a season. He was also the first player of Japanese descent to win a major league home run title. Ohtani was the first player in MLB history to win MVP twice in a row by unanimous vote and the first Japanese player to own the most Major League Baseball jersey sales.   

Ohtani is Japan’s representative internationally. When Japan beat the United States in the first game of the World Baseball Classic in 2023, he was named the MVP of the event. One of history’s most watched baseball finals occurred in 2023 when Ohtani struck out USA captain and Angels teammate Mike Trout for a complete count to seal a 3–2 victory and Japan’s third championship.

Ohtani and Mizuhara Case

Mizuhara was Shohei’s translator, who was now charged with cheating and stealing from him. Mizuhara assisted Ohtani while opening his account in 2018 and, since 2021, has been stealing money from there. He even changed the security protocols, phone numbers, and email addresses so that no one could try to contact Ohtani, especially during wire transfers.

He tried pretending to be Shohei at least 24 times at the bank. He even underreported his income in 2022 tax returns by at least $4 million less than actual. As per authorities, the player has no involvement in this matter and fully cooperates in the investigation.

Lionsgate, one of the leading production companies, has announced plans to launch a TV show based on Shohei and his interpreter’s relationship and the controversial scandal. The unannounced project is “a story of trust, betrayal, and the trappings of wealth and fame.”

There is yet to be an update on the cast and crew of the show. However, Ohtani’s fans are expected to wait for this show and watch it eagerly.

Shohei and Endorsement

After Shohei grabbed the deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers for at least ten years, many Japanese brands considered him their new face for promoting products. He has a big fanbase in Japan and the US, so the Los Angeles Dodgers have secured the list of companies trying to partner with Shohei.

Per the Los Angeles Dodgers, his game-worn jersey won $100,500 in the official Dodgers auction. He wore the jersey when the team beat the San Diego Padres on 13th April. The auction opened on 29th April and closed on 9th May. 

Shohei’s Bio and Profile

Nickname – Showtime

Born – Oshu, Japan on 07/05/1994

High School – Hanamaki Higashi, Iwate, Japan

Debut – 3/29/2018

Status – Active

Win – 39

Lost – 19

ERA – 3.01

G – 86

GS – 86

SV – 0

IP – 481.2

SO – 608

WHIP – 1.0

Here are some of his interview lines for fans from his recent record-breaking match:

After the Dodgers defeated the Mets 10-0 to snap a three-game losing streak, Ohtani stated, “Honestly I was just relieved I was able to just get it over with, I was just happy I was able to do that.” “We really want to take this opportunity to start a good streak and obviously we tip our hats to (starting pitcher Tyler) Glasnow for pitching an awesome game.”

Final Words on Shohei Ohtani

About fastballs, Ohtani has emerged as one of, if not the greatest hitter in baseball when it comes to hitting them, especially when they’re thrown hard (95 mph or more) and in the higher parts of the strike zone (i.e., the fastballs that usually get whiffs). He is striking out fewer against such pitches and dealing far more damage to them. 

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