Chris Russo invokes WWII when talking Shohei Ohtani free agency

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Chris Russo invokes WWII when talking Shohei Ohtani free agency


Screenshot: ESPN

Shohei Ohtani, the biggest baseball star in the world, has kept his free agency campaign notoriously quiet.

Ohtani and his manager have reportedly made it clear that if teams mention their visits with the two-way star publicly, it will be held against them. Los Angeles Dodgers manager David Roberts didn’t adhere to the vow of silence, much to the chagrin of team brass.

First Take co-host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo got pretty heated about the whole ordeal. In the midst of his rant, Russo made an unfortunate analogy in the process.

“The fact that we’re even discussing this is a complete joke,” said Russo. “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.

“What is the big secret?! Jeez! He’s a free agent! He’s talked to six teams,” Russo continued. “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.”

Ohtani is a notoriously reserved individual. Before moving to California, he had never lived anywhere but his childhood home and the dorms of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. The Angels kept his media availability to a bare minimum, Watching the clip from Russo, it makes sense why he would want to keep his presence to a minimum. It certainly doesn’t help that the Japanese-born players’ secrecy is being likened to the atomic project that wiped out Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Russo kept up more general World-War-II-secret-themed analogies in an attempt to generalize it.

“The idea that we have to treat this as the peace talks in Tehran in World War II is ridiculous!” Russo added. “When Stalin and Roosevelt and Churchill got together. It drives me absolutely crazy!”





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