baseball

Ohtani is AL starting pitcher; will bat leadoff in All-Star Game

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By RONALD BLUM

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Forget comparing him to Babe Ruth. He’s much better.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Side note: Stephen A Smith came out and said that Ohtani is not a good face for MLB because he uses an interpreter.

A) This is objectively racist/xenophobic.

B) This is wildly hypocritical as several other Hispanic players use interpreters.

C) If Smith were white, he’d be gone. But he’s black and saying controversial (eg “dumb”) things is his schtick, so he issues the non-apology apology and goes on his merry way.

Ohtani is not only the best player in MLB, he has the most class and best sportsmanship. Smith really ought to shut his mouth.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

gdtokyo I usually listen to Stephen A Smith, he does his homework and breathes sports analysis. I like to know what he has to say about what’s happening in major sports but... the guy,s clearly a racist. Now, with Ohtani, he can’t get over the fact that he’s Asian/Japanese and not an American. He’s finally accepting that we’re witnessing something extraordinary and said something smart: the MLB has the modern Babe Ruth in their hands and they’re still loosing. The only people who know about Ohtani are the Japanese and hardcore baseball fans. ( I couldn’t care less ), but baseball is a dying sport. MLB doesn’t know s... about marketing.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

B) This is wildly hypocritical as several other Hispanic players use interpreters.

I think its fair to say that only in the MLB do players still use interpreters after a few seasons in the league, in some cases, its almost one or two decades (Ichiro, Tanaka). In the NHL, NBA, and even the UFC (not Jose Aldo), most athletes can communicate in English after a couple years. Maybe its the difficulty of the English language vs Japanese. I think to Smith, he sees this as a problem. How would the Japanese react to a foreign born Sumo wrestler who couldn't do an interview in Japanese after a few years in the country? I think in the off season, Otani should take some English lessons.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Too bad on Shohei today, but 28 in the first round is a very respectable number.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If Smith were white, he’d be gone. But he’s black and saying controversial (eg “dumb”) things is his schtick, so he issues the non-apology apology and goes on his merry way

Perhaps one of the few things I have ever agreed with you on. I am actually surprised you have this take.

As an Angels fan, Ohtani and Walsh are the only reason I have interest in this year's All Star game. The fact that the MLB commissioner decided to mix politics with sports and move the All Star game from Atlanta to Colorado rubbed me the wrong way. He moved the game from a predominantly Black city to predominantly white state because of laws he felt were racist? Then they go onto to commemorate Hank Aaron in Colorado instead of where he played most of his career? Weird. Ohtani is the savior of this dumpster fire called the MLB.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A curious thing about Otani is that he can speak English, there is footage of him giving quite eloquent speeches (albeit prepared ones) in English. Ichiro can speak English well too but used the interpreters for interviews. Why you ask yourself? because they (Otani, Suzuki et al) can. It's convenient and provides a safe buffer between them and the reporters, they can't get hit with a barrage of questions and get flustered. There is a bottleneck in the interview process. It must be quite nice for them to have that barrier between them and a rabid press looking for a juicy soundbite. They also know they are less likely to make a goof in their native language, than trying to come up with something in English.

As someone who has interviewed sportsmen in the past and ones who are not native English speakers, you can see the fear in the eyes as you ask them questions and they nervously answer, hoping not to make a blunder. Big intimidating men normally, out of their element in the mixed zone with the press, who are usually extraordinarily proficient at language.

All that said Stephen A was out of pocket here. I usually like him, but he does have strong racial agendas, especially for black people. This " hot take" was more xenophobic than racist, not that it makes it any better. On the same episode of First take, he also dismissed a Nigerian Basketball player mocking his hard to pronounce name, he really was having a bad day.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Interesting, I guess this Stephen Smith joker is evidence of systemic racism in the US?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Mr. Smith gets paid to take a contrary position on many things, so it seems his statement was not really sincere but simply to offer an opposite opinion against Otani-san when everyone else is praising him. I recall similar things being said about the American LPGA when all the Korean golfers were winning in recent years. Important figures in the sport were complaining because the young ladies were not socializing and chatting with the high roller sponsors, which was apparently expected after the tournaments. "They are ruining the game!" because of their lack of English skills and were allegedly destroying fan interest in the American market and turning off the sponsors. So these comments from Mr. Smith are similar, and not very original.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Forget comparing him to Babe Ruth. He’s much better.

Not necessarily

By the time Babe Ruth stopped pitching regularly, his career ERA is 2.28 while winning Best AL ERA once

By the time Ruth retired, he held the record for lowest career ERA (0.87) in the World Series against the best teams the NL had to offer - including 29-2/3 consecutive scoreless innings pitched (that's longer than three 9-inning games)

The last year Ruth regularly pitched, his HRs by himself accounted for 6.5% of all the HRs hit that season (Ohtani would have to hit over 300 HRs in a typical season now to match that feat)

So Ruth was doing stuff not a lot of players were doing at the time - one of the lowest ERA ever while accounting for much of the whole leagues' total HRs

Don't sell Babe Ruth short. Let's see first which of those Ohtani can achieve

Ohtani is still a marvel. Like Ichiro before him, he's making non-baseball fans take notice. Many people, who don't follow baseball, have heard of Ohtani lately. He's transcending the sport

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Stephen A. Smith just issued an apology to Ohtani et. al. on national TV

https://www.espn.com/video/clip/_/id/31811657

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NOMINATIONJuly 13 12:49 pm JST

If Smith were white, he’d be gone. But he’s black and saying controversial (eg “dumb”) things is his schtick, so he issues the non-apology apology and goes on his merry way

Perhaps one of the few things I have ever agreed with you on. I am actually surprised you have this take.

Of course if he were white, he would be gone. Has Stephen Smith said similar things about Hispanic players? How about black players whose English is poor, and speak more jive than proper English?

How can Smith be racist?  Liberals tell us all the time that minorities cannot be racist, but are only the victims of racism.

For posters that think baseball is a dying sport.  Where do you get that, or is it because you could not care less?   If it is a dying sport and MLB doesn’t know s…about marketing, then where does it get the money to pay all the salaries.  Remember A-Rod, $250 million dollars total for several seasons? That ain’t chump change!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For those who think Ohtani is better than Babe Ruth or any others players, only time will tell. Ohtani is a great player, and may well be one of the greatest of all time, now called GOAT, but playing only a few seasons does not assure this. Comparing players from different eras is quite difficult. Too many factors involved, such as training, special foods and diets, medical advances….  Back in Ruth’s time, players ended the season and went back to work on the farm, or other jobs. Now athletes continue training with state of the art machines and maybe play in other countries during the MLB off season if their contract allows.  Also, 100 years ago in Ruth’s day, it was considered the dead ball era. The ball did not travel as far due to its internal composition.   Too bad there was no radar gun to measure the speed of the pitch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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