Shohei Ohtani Leaves Alex Rodriguez and ‘Big Papi’ David Ortiz in Splits Before Revealing How They Inspired Him

Published 03/22/2023, 2:45 AM EDT

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Team Japan is the 2023 World Baseball Classic champions, winning every single game they played. Shohei Ohtani was the undisputed driving force behind their championship campaign. He was supported by teammates such as Munetaka Murakami, Kensuke Kondoh, Roki Sasaki, and Masataka Yoshida, to name a few. They proved dependable and trustworthy to make clutch plays and gave their all. 

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Ohtani enjoyed the win with his teammates but was soon subjected to a post-match interview. The two-way phenom interacted with MLB legends Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz through his interpreter. Ohtani navigated one question very well, leaving himself, Rodriguez, and Ortiz in laughter. 

Shohei Ohtani chose the tactical route when asked about his favorite American players while growing up

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Following his excellent pitching to close out the World Baseball Classic final, Shohei Ohtani was subjected to an interview. The Japanese two-way superstar talked to Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz about the game and other baseball-related questions. One such question was who Ohtani’s favorite American players were when he grew up. Ohtani spoke via his interpreter and chose to answer tactfully, as he named Rodriguez and Ortiz in his answer. Fox Sports: MLB shared the video of the interaction on Twitter.

Ohtani said, via his translator, “I mean, it’s gotta be Mr. A-Rod, Mr. Big Papi, and Ken Griffey Jr.” He added, “I mean, I always watched you growing up”. The answer left A-Rod and Ortiz in splits as Ohtani cracked up as well. The Japanese star grew up in the countryside and loved baseball. 

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Getting back to the World Baseball Classic, Ohtani led Japan to the title with his superb play. But he wasn’t afraid to share the spotlight with his teammates. In fact, a gesture toward one of his teammates made fans love Ohtani even more. 

Shohei Ohtani is the 2023 World Baseball Classic MVP

Team Japan was an unstoppable force during this World Baseball Classic, winning every single one of their games. Shohei Ohtani was a massive part of that, with both his pitching and batting. His reliable pitching and clutch batting earned him the MVP award. Furthermore, his leadership played a huge role as well.

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Watch This Story: Japanese Two-Way Baseball Star Shohei Ohtani Hits 100th Major League Homer

What do you think of Shohei Ohtani’s answer regarding his favorite players growing up? Kindly share your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Pranay Mukherjee

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Pranay Mukherjee is an MLB author at EssentiallySports. On completing his Bachelor’s in Mass Communication, he followed his passion for writing and started working as a content writer. His passion for sports has led him to sports journalism.
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Edited by:

Simar Singh Wadhwa

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