“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball

After four at-bats and as many runs between bullpen and the dugout, Shohei Ohtani climbed the mound of LoanDepot Park, in Miami, threw the ten fastest pitches in the final of the V World Baseball Classic and laid the last stone of the pristine Japanese path towards his third crown in the history of the event. So, as if nothing…

Nothing like it had ever happened, there is nothing even like it written in the centuries-old pages of baseball, simply because no one had tested the limits of human capacity to such extremes. Nobody. Neither Babe Ruth, nor Bucky Walters, nor Bullet Rogan, nor Martin Dihigo, nor anyone else who has tried to shine from the two antagonistic sites of the diamond.

Shohei Ohtani, Most Valuable Player of the fifth World Baseball Classic. Photo: Mary DeCicco/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

But Ohtani is not from this planet. On this planet, no one had ever entered an All-Star in two different positions. It was not possible, it is not possible, except for the Japanese, the one who sweats the most on the field, the one who pitches the hardest, the one who hits the hardest, the one who opens, the one who closes, the one who pushes, the one who strikes out, the one who who takes it out, the one who runs, the one who smiles, the one who gives the speech before the game.

Of the dream team American told the rest of the samurai: “Let’s stop admiring them… If you admire them, you can’t surpass them. We came here to overcome them, to get to the top. For one day, let’s throw away our admiration for them and just think about winning.”

“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball
Shohei Ohtani, Most Valuable Player of the fifth World Baseball Classic. Photo: Rob Tringali/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

Like that or more clear? Exact, surgical words from the best baseball player in the world and its surroundings. Fuel for a team that was facing a very tough rival, full of players with a direct ticket to Cooperstown, All Stars, Silver Bats, Platinum Gloves and runs of gold. It is normal to idolize them, but not in the Clásico final. You had to win them.

And they did it, with a superb Ohtani, who after four at-bats and as many trips back and forth between the bullpen and the dugout, he came up with 10 missiles from 98 miles up in the ninth. So, as if nothing…

“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball
Japan is the first country with three crowns in World Classics. Photo: Daniel Shirey/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

They say that it did not relieve a decade ago, that it is as if it had never done so, but what does it matter. With a measly lead race for him it was enough. He stormed the LoanDepot mound to face off against Jeff McNeil, the National League’s last leading hitter, and all-time MVPs: Mookie Betts and Mike Trout.

Let no one deceive you. This did not happen by chance. The lines of the fifth Classic were written by the best writers: Coppola with Allen, Stone with Tarantino and the Cohen brothers, all together in a secret room in a fantastic parallel universe, mixing ideas and crazy combinations until the final sequence: ticket to McNeill to excite the room and double play of Mookie to give way to the best scene of all time, the first and only duel between the two highest grossing superheroes in the business.

They were at 3-2 and perhaps the broadcast was directed by Rolando Díaz. In 3-2 up Japan over the United States. In 3-2 the World Classic crowns if he won the first or second. In 3-2 and 2 outs, Othani pitched and Trout hit. The two most extraordinary players the game has known this century to define the greatest tournament in the game this century, between the two greatest powers in the game this century. The two Angels share a city that has everything in baseball except the demon of winning. Everything goes in one slider At 87 miles, the American Mike moves away and fans in front of the Japanese Shohei.

This is the closest Trout has come to playing play off in his career after failing 10 years with Los Angeles. His overall numbers aren’t bad, but the image is of one strikeout after another in the decisive stage. The image is of the best batter in the world striking out against the best player in the world. This is the closest Othani has come to someone wanting to kidnap him to study him for years, to clone him.

“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball
Shohei Ohtani, Most Valuable Player of the fifth World Baseball Classic. Photo: Daniel Shirey/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Before some tried to steal prominence. Trea Turner, for example, became Barry Bonds for three days. Grand slam against Venezuela, two home runs against Cuba and now he opened the final with another bombing beyond the fences to break the cellophane.

Shota Imanaga’s fastball fell 406 feet away, a shot that made the northern shortstop the second player in the history of the Classics with home runs in the semifinal and final, after the Korean Shin-Soo Choo (2009). By the way, he also equaled the record (5) for the most home runs in a joust, held by Seung Yuop Lee since 2006.

Captain America!

“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball
Trea Turner tied the record for home runs in a Classic. Photo: Daniel Shirey/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

But the Japanese are not intimidated by anything. In this little war that is the short tournaments, they have atomic bombs that they throw and hit. In Miami, Munetaka Murakami, the Boy Wonder, and Kazuma Okamoto punished the Americans with their own antidote, heavy artillery to rewrite history.

The rest was taken care of. bullpen, a clan of six samurai massacring with the “katana” from the mound, as they have done throughout this Classic, their most lethal battle. In 2009 they struck out 75 in 79 inningsnow they gave 80 in 63, including the last of Trout, photographed by Ohtani before joining in the same uniform within hours.

“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball
Shohei Ohtani, Most Valuable Player of the fifth World Baseball Classic. Photo: Rob Tringali/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images.

We don’t know if Einstein or Ruth were his parents. Marie Curie or Jackie Joyner her mothers. Sadaharu Oh or Ichiro. Ohtani was drawn in a manga, brought to life in a anime. She overflowed everything. When he appears on the ground, God takes notice and the Buddha has been seen standing contemplating. A whole crowd rises to revere him.

The red sun sets on his shoulder and the entire terrain is a target where he never fails. He seems friendlier than a samurai, but more ambitious than an Emperor. His confidence is the length of his hits. His words as precise about him as his pitches. He is not 30 years old and he is already worried when he cannot play ball anymore. He gives the impression that he would die if he stopped running. He wants it all. It’s everything. It is an “Othani”, something out of this world that someone invented, that someone imagined in 3-2. And not otherwise.

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“Showtime” Ohtani: the new king of baseball

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