We follow the path of new baseball phenom Shohei Ohtani, a two-way player who came to the MLB from Japan as both a pitcher and hitter. Now coming up on Season 3, baseball is currently on hiatus due to coronavirus. Episodes for this year will be once baseball comes back again (or if they even do). Podcast hosted by Jack Sommer and Kevin De Los Santos.
Ohtani's season ended a couple weeks ago, but the Angels just wrapped up their regular season (with no playoffs ahead of them). We talk about some minor updates about the knee surgery Ohtani had a couple weeks ago and then take a step back to look at how his sophomore season went overall in 2019 as a one-way player.
Then we do a speed round of the Angels overall season, the freshly announced firing of manager Brad Ausmus after only one year (and rumors of Joe Maddon being hired in his place), as well as our suggestions for upcoming free agents that Billy Eppler should pursue in the offseason to fill spots they need.
We'll be back in Spring Training 2020!
You can also click below for Pros and Cons, our other (non-baseball) podcast, which we'll still be doing in the offseason: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/pros-and-cons/id1450368529
There was breaking news on Thursday, out of nowhere, that Ohtani was going to have season-ending knee surgery the next day on Friday (we were as shocked to hear as you are). With no indication of this throughout the year, this was an unfortunate way to end the year. But we look at why it actually may not be the worst situation and the positive side of his recovery to come leading up to next season.
Additionally, we give an update on the Angels season (officially out of wild card race, other injuries, Mike Trout to likely be MVP, and Tyler Skaggs further aftermath).
We'll have one more episode after the baseball regular season finishes at the end of the month to recap Ohtani's 2019 overall, so stay tuned for that.
The All-Star break happened this week. After a few days off, today marks the 2nd half of the season beginning. We talk about how Ohtani's done so far since coming back in early May, hitting for the cycle, getting a dinger on his 25th birthday, MLB not even offering him an invite to participate in the Home Run Derby this year, and more. Also, we talk about the latest updates with the Angels and look at the tragic passing of Angels pitcher, Tyler Skaggs, who died on July 1st at 27 years young and was a key part of their team and helped Ohtani with his transition to the U.S.
In a historic first MLB matchup in America between Yusei Kikuchi and Shohei Ohtani, two young baseball stars from Japan from the same region and high school, the two faced off for the first time in an MLB game. Being that Ohtani is only hitting this year, it was strictly a pitcher (Kikuchi) vs. hitter (Ohtani) matchup. The bats won the battle by a landslide, as did the Angels overall. They destroyed Kikuchi. We talk about the details of the game, as well as Ohtani's first month back after returning to playing following getting Tommy John surgery in the offseason. Plus, how the Angels have been doing so far in their first couple months.
THE BOY IS BACK! Finally, Ohtani was activated to play again this week. We talk about what that means, how he did in his first series back, predictions for this season from here on, how the Angels are doing, and other Shohei related news.
We're back for a special offseason recap as Spring Training ends and Opening Day is here with the baseball season officially at its start for 2019. This episode breaks down Ohtani winning Rookie Of The Year, the current status of his arm following his Tommy John surgery and his workouts, Angels news with pickups and the big Mike Trout contract, and the retirement of Ohtani's idol Ichiro Suzuki. (To note: Ohtani is scheduled to come back in May, so we will plan to return when he does)
Exactly 100 years ago in 1918, Babe Ruth gave his case for a two-way player. Now, a century later, Shohei Ohtani challenged that. We discuss comparisons between the two players and the two periods of baseball, including their close stat lines and random overall connections. (This is our finale for Season 1, Ohtani's Rookie Year, and we will return in March 2019 for Spring Training of next season)
As Yankees fans ourselves, but also Ohtani supporters, we get into a debate with each other about who should win the 2018 Rookie Of The Year award. Should it be Ohtani or the Yankees own Miguel Andujar? We each take sides and make our cases for who should take the crown.
Recap of the entire rookie season for Ohtani, going back all the way to when the news first broke a year ago of his decision to come to America at the end of 2017. We go through the key events and dates throughout, and what it meant to the bigger picture. Additionally, we mention some newly learned insight from the man himself on his reflections of the year.
Regular season comes to a big conclusion - Ohtani confirms he's getting Tommy John surgery immediately after this last week of games, Mike Scioscia announces he won't be returning as manager for the Angels next year (after 19 years), the discovery is made of Ohtani's spanish singing skills (Despacito!), he talks his final thoughts on the season, and we recap this week's series games against the Texas Rangers and Oakland A's.
(P.S. - More episodes in coming weeks with a recap of the season overall and our Rookie Of The Year debate)
Rough and terrible week for both Ohtani and the Angels. Not anything to do with more injuries to Ohtani, but he's in a hitting slump right now and the team (aside from Mike Trout) is not playing well - including their worst loss of all time. We also discuss Ichiro's new ideas for Ohtani to try for his career, the $150K rookie card auction buy, and in general the road trip games against the Oakland A's and Houston Astros.
We went to a game this week against the Seattle Mariners so we discussed that, Trout and Ohtani having back-to-back dingers, winning the AL Player Of The Week award, his interview with MLB Network, joining Babe Ruth on another record with his 20th home run, Troutani vs. Uptani nicknames, his translator Ippei Mizuhara, and the other series earlier this week against the Texas Rangers.
The dreaded surgery recommendation comes in for Ohtani to get the infamous Tommy John operation on his arm. We break down what it means for both his pitching (not back until at least 2020) and batting (could be hitting all next season!). We also discuss Ohtani firing back at the plate while he continues to DH for the rest of the season, especially on the day of hearing the news, and the series games this week against the Texas Rangers and Chicago White Sox.
A big controversial week as Ohtani makes his pitching return against the Houston Astros, defending World Series champions and current AL West division leaders, in a nationally televised ESPN game. Kev and Jack discuss their opinions on the Angels bringing him back at this time, how the pitching start went, and what we can take away from it.
We also talk about the season-ending surgery of Albert Pujols and what that means for Ohtani and the DH hitting role, as well as the series against the Colorado Rockies that started the week.
Facing real hitters in simulation games, Players Weekend ("Showtime"), Trout returns to the team, 80's night at Angels Stadium, Maldonado reunion, Justin Verlander matchup, conflict with batters getting hit, and the overall series games against the Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros.
More bullpen pitching sessions this week, a major dinger, helping out as a pinch hitter, fun with teammates (handshakes, learning languages, LLWS, Dele Alli challenge), and the series games against the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers.
We talk about Ohtani's drill of throwing towels (for pitching), his important bullpen session over the weekend, hitting a HR for Trout's birthday, and the Angels series matchups against the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A's.
First on-the-road home runs for Ohtani in a career-best game against his favorite team, the latest stats comparing to Babe Ruth, losing Ian Kinsler but keeping Scioscia, the $100K Ohtani rookie card, and the Angels games against the Tampa Bay Rays and Cleveland Indians.
Maldonado traded to the Astros (Ohtani's bestie & catcher), Arcia comes to the majors and becomes a quick dangerous friend, new info on how Simmons and Ohtani bonded while injured, the back and forth on the DH spot with Pujols, Ohtani being moved up in the lineup, and Vladimir Guerrero enters the Hall of Fame. Plus this week's games against the Chicago White Sox and Seattle Mariners (yes, the Mariners again).
Cleared to start throwing again! :-) We talk the positive new updates on Ohtani's pitching arm, when to expect him to pitch in actual games, and what it all means going forward. Plus Ohtani's All-Star Week away from D.C's festivities, his level of fashion game according to Mike Trout, and the weekend series against the Houston Astros.
Ohtani finally comes back from the DL to hit again (no pitching yet), right in time for the July 4th holiday and Ohtani's 24th birthday on July 5th. Also he has a "Japanese Kirk Gibson" moment against the Dodgers.
The ways that Japan's NPB (Nippon Professional Baseball) is both similar and different to America's MLB (Major League Baseball) in rules and styles of play. Additionally, an update on the status of Ohtani's injury evaluation.
Ohtani gets placed on the DL for 3 weeks with a Grade 2 UCL sprain injury. We talk about what that means for Ohtani, for the Angels, and for baseball. Including the Tommy John surgery possibility, All Star voting, Rookie Of The Year battle, and the Angels race for the second AL wild card spot with the Mariners.
News from the Angels team of Ohtani's knowledge of the Spanish language moving quicker than English, our theory of his possible new obsession coming up with 'Friends' re-runs, the discussion of Ohtani officially being listed as a DH on the 2018 All Star ballot, and how the week of games went vs the Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers. (Week of Monday 5/28/18 to Sunday 6/3/18)
We discuss this week's big matchup vs. the Yankees and what Ohtani has in common with two Yankees players - fellow Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (who he was originally going to pitch against, but instead hit against) and fellow Rookie of the Year candidate Gleyber Torres. Also, we discuss the potentially-true story of Ohtani going to Drake's studio while the Angels were playing the Toronto Blue Jays.
Ohtani plays in his first NL stadium and gets his first pinch hit against the Rockies in Coors Field, has a great start with 11 strikeouts at home against the Twins, and gets a big compliment from one of the league's big trash talkers.
We talk about the Ichiro matchup vs Ohtani that the world was so close to seeing, their similarities as Japanese superstar players coming to the U.S, the connection with Ohtani's teammate Albert Pujols, and more of Ohtani's week returning after his mild ankle injury from the week prior.