Baseballs

Dodgers unload the vault for Ohtani

Let the hand-wringing go into overdrive. 

A man has been guaranteed $700 million over the next 10 years to play baseball for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Oh, woe is our society. Our culture – strike that – our country has gone absolutely bonkers.

Maybe  the righteous rage that accompanies such news has run dry. Maybe we won’t be deluged with demands from non-sports fans to see the light and run away from this attack on our sensibilities.

Not that it would matter.

Shohei Ohtani will be paid more money over that span than any athlete, in any sport, in the history of professional fun and games. The contract is backloaded to help the Dodgers avoid excess charges in their luxury tax payroll.

Within baseball, this is simply another nod to the reality that the teams ponying up the most gold will be the teams that will play deep into October.  In this case, the Dodgers not only solidified themselves as World Series contenders, they stole the only individual that fans went out of their way to see down the road in Anaheim.

The Los Angeles/California/Anaheim Angels had Ohtani’s services for six years. They won nothing, which is certainly not Ohtani’s fault. The Angels have shown an amazing ability to sputter and fail in any given season, regardless of who is on their roster..

Ohtani had nothing but kind words for his former employer. At the end of the day, it’s just business.

Not only is he the most talented player in the big leagues, he is the most fascinating. The man has won two American League MVP awards in six seasons. His career batting average is .274, with 171 homers and 437 RBIs. He has stolen 86 bases. On the mound he is 39-19 with a 3.01 earned run average. He has struck out 608 batters in 482⅔ innings.

He is a cold slap to the notion of robotic specialization that has overrun baseball.

For that alone, all baseball fans should be grateful.