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Angels’ Shohei Ohtani claims to be the face of baseball and addresses Stephen A. Smith’s criticism


Shohei Ohtani is the entire present – and he welcomes the thought.

After a completely historic season, the Angels two-way famous person virtually immediately surpassed teammate Mike Trout to develop into the standout (and considerably legendary) “face of baseball” in 2021.

Ohtani, winner of Sports activities Information Participant of the 12 months 2021, Sportsman of the 12 months 2021, additionally added a unanimous AL MVP choice for his efforts on the sector. These awards observe on from his 2018 Rookie of the 12 months award.

It could be intangible, but it surely seems like “face of baseball” means probably the most to the star.

In an in-depth function on GQ, Ohtani spoke of his popularity for turning into the face of baseball, including that he welcomed the burden of being the game’s biggest ambassador:

Greater than strain. I am actually pleased to listen to that. That is why I got here right here, to be the perfect participant I can. And to listen to the “face of baseball” could be very welcome and motivates me to take action – as a result of I simply had, this was my first actually good 12 months. And it is solely a 12 months. That provides me extra motivation to maintain going and have extra nice years.

MORE: 2021 Sporting Information MLB Awards – Ohtani is greatest participant of the sport

Amongst different issues, Ohtani addressed the nonsensical criticism from ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, who stated in July that Ohtani’s lack of knowledge of English one way or the other harmed the game greater than his play on the sector helped.

I imply if I might converse English I might converse English. In fact I might. In fact, it would not damage to talk English. There would solely be constructive outcomes from this. However I got here right here to play baseball and I felt like my sport on the sector might be my manner of speaking with the individuals, with the followers. That is all I actually acquired out of it ultimately.

Ohtani’s 2021 season was one of many biggest within the historical past of the game – or some other sport. On the bowl, Ohtani mashed 46 house runs with a .965 OPS. On the rubber he began 23 video games, placing up over 130 innings to a 3.18 ERA.

The efficiency of the phenomenon in 2021 places it firmly in one of many few classes. Now he is 1 of 1 because the face of the game.


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