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By Steven Lieberman
Observer Reporter 

Newest Dodger Ohtani Dodgers Newest Superstar

 

April 25, 2024

MLB

Dodgers Japanese superstar designated hitting-pitcher Shohei Ohtani continues to stay above the fray, putting behind him the issues with his former gambling-addicted interpreter Ippei Mizuhara and the recent teams struggles to get wins, to continue performing as expected.

He reminds me of the late, great "Mr. Padre" Tony Gwynn, also left-handed hitting. Ohtani, like Gwynn, is one of the best and most consistent hitters who has the ability to create a hit with any pitch thrown anywhere in the strike zone. It really is extraordinary.

So far early in this season, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts has stuck with Mookie Betts, Ohtani, and Freddie Freeman as the top three in the lineup, in that order. The modern-day "Murderers' Row." And Betts and Ohtani are arguably one of the greatest dynamic duos in the history of baseball.

Here are the remarkable stats for the 29-year-old "Shotime" Ohtani so far this season - 35 hits in 95 at-bats with 19 runs, five homers and five stolen bases, all adding up to a whopping batting average of .368.

Ohtani's mindset, philosophy and work ethic are incomparable and rock steady. He is a great example for his teammates by the amount of work he puts in every day, always making an effort to get better, his whole life, on a daily basis, revolving around perfecting his craft. He is a quiet man, mostly keeping to himself, and lets his performance on the field do all the talking.

So far, Ohtani is living up to his $700 million contract with the Dodgers, the largest in US sports history. $68 million per season deferred until 2034, so he'll receive $2 million per season, supplementing his earnings with $45 million per season from endorsements.

Always the optimist, here is what he had to say about the Dodgers recent slump.

"I think the pitching and hitting, we haven't quite been able to mix and match well," Ohtani said. "But all the games are pretty close and we're really working hard. I think we just have to keep plugging away and move on. When we lose like this, with this many games, it's not the best atmosphere. But we're doing our very best to make sure we move on and do our best in our next game. We did have team meetings to be able to address this."

The Dodgers are an extremely talented team, especially with Ohtani in the lineup. Dodger fans expect perfection, but we live in an imperfect world, so the fans must remember that this is a long season and there's plenty of time to right the ship.

 

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