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Veterans Stunned By Attention Around Ohtani, Yamamoto in Dodgers' Camp

The Dodgers have a special duo.

The craze surrounding Shohei Ohtani and Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason, and now in Spring Training, has become a story in itself. 

From the time both players' every move and rumor was tracked during free agency, to signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and now playing for the team in Spring Training, fans and the media cannot get enough of the two stars. Especially in Japan.

The attention is even notable among other major league players, like Dodgers starter James Paxton. Though Paxton has been pitching at baseball's highest level for more than a decade (he debuted in 2013), even this level of craze has trumped anything he has seen before.

“I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen so many fans in spring training. You’re out in the back fields, you hear a big cheer go up, and you know it’s for Ohtani or Yamamoto ... There’s so much attention, but you’re talking about superstars who are going to be around for the next 10 years.”

— James Paxton, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

Dodgers reliever Ryan Brasier added that the closest amount of hype he's seen was for Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout.

“I remember being with the Angels (in 2013), and there’d be about 100 fans waiting for Mike Trout. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like this year with Ohtani and Yamamoto together. It’s going to be crazy. But when you think about it, here are two of the biggest stars ever to come from Japan, and they’re both here.”

— Ryan Brasier, via Bob Nightengale of USA Today.

As Brasier points out, the fame both Ohtani and Yamamoto hold in Japan adds in another level of attention. Now, both the usual MLB and Japanese media outlets are covering these two stars. Add in that both are tremendous players, and it's no wonder they've captured the fans' imagination.