Shohei Ohtani, the second MVP to win a full ballot, surprises former major league pitchers with “3 common sense that has been overturned. | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Shohei Ohtani, the second MVP to win a full ballot, surprises former major league pitchers with “3 common sense that has been overturned.

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Ohtani won his second A League MVP award. It was the first time in history that he was selected for the second time with a full vote.

Shohei Ohtani, 29, a free agent from the Major League Baseball Angels, was named the American League Most Valuable Player (MVP) for this season on January 17 (Japan time).

He also became the first pitcher in history to achieve double-digit wins and double-digit home runs in two consecutive years with a 10-5 record.

FRIDAY Digital interviewed former Major League Baseball pitcher Keiichi Yabu and former professional baseball pitchers about Otani’s greatness. This is a partially revised version of the article we published on September 26.

A season that once again overturned common sense

It’s a shame that the season ended midway through due to injury, but he did something that only he could do. This year, because of the World Baseball Classic (WBC), he ran for six months from March, won 10 games, and hit 40 home runs, double-digit wins for two consecutive years, something even Babe Ruth could not have done. He has surpassed the ‘God of Baseball,’ so his numbers are nothing short of amazing.

Keiichi Yabu, a former Hanshin ace who has also pitched in the majors, said.

On August 24, Shohei Ohtani (29) of the Angels damaged his right elbow ligament. He underwent surgery on September 19 (local time) and is no longer expected to play this season. However, Ohtani hit 44 home runs this season, becoming the first Japanese major leaguer to win the home run crown despite not being able to play for more than a month. Yabu cited the first of the “three common beliefs” that Otani overturned, which was the long-held belief in the United States that the Japanese are underpowered.

Ohtani is changing the image of Japanese people who were thought to be underpowered,” Yabu said. Even Hideki Matsui, who hit 50 homers in Japan, could not become the homerun king in the majors. I think Ichiro’s 200 hits every year had an impact on Major League Baseball, and I think Otani was able to have that same impact this season, and I think he changed the image of Japanese players in the Majors by winning the title,” said Yabu.

Otani must have had the mindset of “winning a title in the Majors” from the time he was still in Japan. While Ohtani was a member of Nippon Ham, a former pitcher for a Pacific League team who was a hitting pitcher happened to catch a glimpse of Ohtani’s weight training. It turned out that he was doing deadlifts to push his lower body even two days before pitching. This is the second “common sense” that was overturned. A former pitcher reveals the following.

I think it was in 2004, when Nippon Ham won the championship, after the official games had started and before I started weight training, the Nippon Ham pitchers who were on an outing were using the weight room, and Otani was there. It was two days before his pitching appearance, and he was doing deadlifts.

This workout involves lifting a barbell on the ground using mainly the back, buttocks, and legs, and it is very taxing on the body. The barbell that Otani lifted was still there, so I tried lifting it, but I couldn’t lift it (laughs). The weight was probably about 170 kg.

I have experience in the military, but I can’t train this hard two days before pitching. I thought that my basic physical fitness was different from his, and since it was said at the time that he was going to be in the majors in the near future, I thought that he was looking at me differently and aiming for different things.

Ohtani appeared on a special program on the MLB Network. While being interviewed, he was seen gently petting a dog lying next to him. The dog was said to be a small Dutch dog named “Koikelfondje,” which became a hot topic on the Internet (excerpts from MLB’s Instagram, some of which have been doctored).

Mr. Yabu continues.

I think that training with very heavy weights even two days before pitching is a good fit for Otani’s senses, because he trains quite heavily. I think he kept doing it because it was a good fit.

In my case, two days before the pitch, I trained mainly on my shoulders because training using the entire body would have reduced my strength, but in the case of deadlifts, there was a risk of hurting my back, so I didn’t do them.”

Yabu also mentioned the “third common sense that was overturned. Yabu said that it would be unthinkable for a batter to pitch the day after he pitches in a game.

What is amazing about Ohtani is that he can easily play as a hitter the day after a start. The day after I pitched, my body was still under intense tension, so I did aerobic training the next day to remove waste from my body, and then rested completely on the second day. In other words, it was a recovery day for at least 48 hours after pitching. It is impossible to stay out all the time like Otani (laughs). Only he could do that.”

The surgery on his right elbow means that he will not be able to pitch next season, but if his rehabilitation goes well, he is expected to start the season as a hitter.

I expect him to get 50 hits next season,” he said.

I think the training he has continued since his days with Nippon Ham has helped his body to constantly improve and increase his resilience. When I watched YouTube of Bauer, who won the Cy Young Award, he even talked about the autonomic nervous system, and I think the U.S. is more advanced in the way they go about training. I think Ohtani there, of course, updates it every year. So I think he will continue to evolve.”

Ohtani, who is now a free agent with the Angels and is now in the spotlight for next season, may be discussing his future with the dog that was next to him when he appeared on the MLB Network. Wherever he ends up playing in the 2012 season, it looks like he will be able to entrust his big dream of becoming the first Japanese player to hit 50 games to a team.

Just before Otani underwent surgery on his right elbow, a boy who appeared to be a Seattle Mariners fan solicited him with a handwritten banner.
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