Kevin Durant knows the deal, but it feels like Shohei Ohtani should be a bigger deal. And if MLB can’t make him a crossover superstar, they might as well fold. Because I should see at least as much coverage of Ohtani as I do belt buckles.
What Shohei is doing right now has to be the coolest baseball story of my lifetime thus far that hasn’t been marred by a scandal. He’s accomplishing stuff at the plate and the mound that hasn’t been done since Babe Ruth who I still hear about even though he hasn’t played since The Great Gatsby was around.
He leads all MLB in WAR, is tied for the lead in home runs, tops in extra-base hits, not to mention he also has a 2.58 ERA while striking out over 12 batters per nine innings.
Not only is he the MVP of the American League but he’s gotta be considered the best player in the game at this moment. If he keeps it up, there’s no reason he can’t go for the all-time title. I get that he plays for a mediocre team on the West Coast and English isn’t his first language, but time zones have never stopped the Lakers from receiving coverage and MLB should absolutely lean into his international appeal.
Plus, he comes off as incredibly likable, even down to not throwing a fit when getting checked for the sticky stuff.
So, if I were Rob Manfred, from this point forward, I’d market the sport of baseball as MLB: The Sho.