Thursday’s Say Hey, Baseball looks at Shohei Ohtani’s exciting first week at the plate.
Sure, I can’t prove Shohei Ohtani is the greatest baseball player of all-time. But the burden of proof is on y’all. I’m the one with the platform and if I want to use it irresponsibly, I will, and you can’t stop me.*
*There are various ways in which you could stop me, but please, I need this job.
Ohtani hit a homer on Wednesday off of Corey Kluber after going deep for his first career MLB dinger on Tuesday, and we’re officially enthralled by him. Yes, it’s just two homers, and yes, he’s played in all of three games as a designated hitter and started another on the mound. However, let’s extrapolate over the course of a season: Ohtani is going to strike out 162 batters over 27 starts while going 27-0, and he’s going to hit at least 54 home runs if he’s a batter in half of the Angels games. More if he plays more!
Please, don’t argue with this math. Baseball Reference was already kind enough to project his line over 162 games for us: 108 homers, 324 hits, and a 254 OPS+ that would even make teammate Mike Trout blush.
OK, OK, fine he’s not going to do all that. Still, if Ohtani is a good pitcher, and Ohtani’s bat actually is an asset for the Angels when he’s in the lineup, then oh man, this dude is going to create arguments about the Most Valuable Player award that I’m actually going to be invested in, because they’re going to be philosophical and annoying as hell. There was no MVP award back when Babe Ruth was pitching and hitting. Uncharted territory in baseball? That we can fight about? Oh man oh man oh man keep playing well, Shohei, I can’t wait to yell on the internet.
- Brian Cashman does not get enough credit for being a fantastic general manager, but players like Didi Gregorius certainly work as a reminder of that. Didi is the Yankees, as Grant Brisbee explained.
- We get why MLB and Facebook are partnering together. Grant Brisbee even thinks it’s not a terrible idea for people who aren’t him! Still, though, this cathartic feature was necessary, because he had some things to get off of his old-man chest.
- Hey, he’s the one who called himself old, I think he’s still spry and youthful.
- The Athletic’s Levi Weaver got a chance to talk to Rob Manfred about minor-league pay, and boy does MLB’s commissioner not come off looking great when someone doesn’t just nod and keep quiet about his answers!
- Also at The Athletic is Jon Bernhardt, writing about how it’s clear the Rays never had a four-man rotation in the first place when Nathan Eovaldi was involved.
- Whitney McIntosh spoke with the mind behind your new favorite (and artistic!) baseball Twitter account.
- Bleacher Report has a feature with plenty of quotes from Tony Clark about the MLBPA, the future of the union, and their coming labor struggles.
- Tim Britton on Alex Cora and his hometown in Puerto Rico is required reading.
- Britni de la Cretaz attended the Red Sox’ fantasy camp for women baseball players, and the result is worth your time.
- This feature on Tommy Pham, featuring loads of Tommy Pham quotes, has catapulted him into my personal favorite players list.
- Cut4 has a look at Emma Tiedemann, the first women to be a play-by-play announcer in the South Atlantic League.
- Charlie Blackmon signed a six-year extension with the Rockies, and Purple Row has some immediate reactions.
- This Giants fan missed out on a foul ball, and their beer paid the price.
- Don’t be sad about the beer: here, these are joyful photos of Shohei Ohtani after hitting a dinger.