Major League Baseball had one hell of a season in 2023, until all of the good teams lost early on in the postseason and no one really paid attention to how it all wrapped up (I guarantee you can’t name the World Series Champion off the top of your head).
Now that the season has been wrapped up for a couple of months, baseball fans have turned their attention to the MLB’s winter meetings (which had Brad Paisley heavily involved for some reason), and the free agency of one of the game’s biggest and brightest stars: Shohei Ohtani.
If you aren’t a baseball fan, the easiest way to describe Ohtani is a modern day Babe Ruth (hopefully non-baseball fans at least know that name). He has the chance to go down as one of the best to ever step foot on the baseball diamond, and is the type of rare player that can rake and pitch, helping his team with all-star-level offense and pitching.
Ohtani is a very special player who has been stuck in the purgatory of a team known as the Los Angeles Angels, and is now getting to test the waters of free agency. However, in a weird turn of events, Ohtani’s camp came out and said that any team that leaked that he had met with them would be removed from free agency consideration. That “secrecy” has rubbed some people the wrong way, including the always emphatic and accurately nicknamed Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo.
On his weekly appearance on ESPN’s First Take, Russo was on his soapbox about the whole situation, explaining to Stephen A. Smith that the whole Ohtani sweepstakes wasn’t even really worth it considering that Shohei suffered an injury last season that would only allow him to solely be a DH and not a pitcher:
“The fact that we’re even discussing this is a complete joke. This Ohtani scenario sweepstakes…did you know when he won the MVP, he wouldn’t even tell you what his dog’s name was? Because he had his dog there when he won the American League MVP.
Anybody who pays Ohtani $600 million needs their heads examined anyway. He’s not going to pitch next year, he’s a designated hitter. And tell me this with Ohtani, how many times have the Angels been in the pennant race in the middle of September?”
All of those points are fairly warranted by “Mad Dog,” who was spewing out his take on the matter so fast he accidentally stumbled into an insensitive comparison. Shohei Ohtani’s native country is Japan, and Russo decided to compare the secrecy surrounding his free agency to the atomic bomb, which was dropped on the Japenese cities of Nagasaki and Hiroshima during World War II:
“What is the big secret?! Jeez! He’s a free agent! He’s talked to six teams. What is this, the atomic bomb? We’re not allowed to find out? This is baseball. He’s a celebrity. This is what it’s about.
This is stupid, that somehow, someway, if you reveal that you had a breakfast with Ohtani, you should be basically thrown out with the bathwater.”
Probably not the best choice of words there by Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo, but when you speak as much as he does on TV, it’s a miracle more controversial matter doesn’t spew from his hot-take-machine of a mouth…