A “natural” side that makes mistakes with cars… There are no blind spots for the WBC! Shohei Otani: “Training Silently While Returning to Japan
Thank you for all your hard work!”
A loud voice echoed in the parking lot of a Tokyo training gym in late November, when the weather turned chilly. The voice belonged to Shohei Otani, 28.
Otani came out of the facility wearing a top and bottom sweatshirt, and when he spotted the people involved, he waved and said hello. He appeared to be serious, but soon after, he showed his natural side. He mistook the car that came to pick him up and tried to get into a different one, causing his interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, to call out to him and laugh.
Although he was one step short of winning the MVP award for the second year in a row, Otani completed his dual role this season as well. The reason why he is training hard even in his off-season is because he is looking ahead to his long-cherished wish to participate in the WBC next March. Major League Baseball commentator Ryoichi Fukushima said, “Otani has been working hard this season.
Otani has been talking about his enthusiasm for the WBC since the beginning of the season, and his thoughts on this year’s WBC are considerable. Japan will have an unparalleled sense of security and presence with Otani, who is a mainstay of the Majors in both pitching and hitting, and there is no doubt that he will be a threat to other countries.
Will Ohtani’s pitching and hitting help Japan win their third WBC championship?
From the December 16, 2022 issue of FRIDAY
PHOTO： Kojiro Yamada