Japan’s “public broadcaster” NHK seems to have realized that Shohei Ohtani and the Los Angeles Angels will no longer be together. The network has decided to stop broadcasting Angels games after the official announcement that Ohtani is out for the season.
Multiple media outlets in the United States, including MLB.com, reported the news of Ohtani’s season-ending injury on the 17th (KST). “The greatest season in Ohtani’s history is officially over,” said MLB.com.
Ohtani has been a highly sought-after prospect since the beginning of his major league career. Almost every team in the majors had to make a bid to sign him. However, Ohtani has been playing primarily as a “hitter” rather than a pitcher, as he underwent Tommy John surgery early in his major league career.
It wasn’t until 2021 that Ohtani’s talents truly came to the forefront, when he was named the unanimous American League MVP after hitting .257 with 138 hits, 46 home runs, 100 RBIs, 103 runs scored, 26 doubles, and a .965 OPS in 155 games as a hitter and a 9-2 record with a 3.18 ERA in 23 starts as a pitcher.
Ohtani continued his “Idoryu” performance last season, proving that 2021 wasn’t a “flash in the pan,” and he’s continued the trend this year. At the plate, Ohtani hit .304 with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, 102 runs scored, and a 1.066 OPS in 135 games, and on the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 starts.
But then an unexpected twist occurred. On March 24, Ohtani took the mound for the first game of a doubleheader against the Cincinnati Reds, but was pulled after just 1⅓ innings. The results of the examination were “terrible. He had a torn ligament in his right elbow, and general manager Perry Minassian said that Ohtani would not be taking the mound for the rest of the season.
Nevertheless, there were no brakes on Ohtani’s “passion. Despite knowing he had torn ligaments in his elbow, Ohtani pitched the second game of the doubleheader and continued to pitch steadily until he faced the Oakland Athletics on April 4, when he suddenly disappeared. This time, it was his side.
Ohtani hasn’t been in the starting lineup since Day 5, when head coach Phil Nevin revealed that Ohtani has micro-inflammation in his side. However, he explained that it was not a serious injury and that we should see him back on the field soon. After a series of absences, Ohtani made his first appearance in the starting lineup on April 12 against the Seattle Mariners. However, that didn’t translate to playing time either.
Ohtani was in the starting lineup at 3:30 p.m. in Seattle, but was abruptly removed from the lineup at 2:30 p.m. before the start of the game. This was due to another soreness in his side. Despite this, Nevin reiterated that he had no intention of placing Ohtani on the injured list (IL) and would wait for him to return. Then, on the 16th, a somewhat shocking news broke.
“After the game between the Angels and Detroit Tigers, Ohtani’s locker room was cleaned out,” multiple U.S. media outlets reported. Local reporters and teammates were baffled. The Angels were coy on the details, saying they would release them on Sunday, but the news was that Otani would miss the rest of the season on the disabled list.
Ohtani will become a free agent for the first time in his career at the end of this season, with the New York Post writing, “Ohtani’s time with the Angels is over” and CBS Sports writing, “Ohtani’s season is over. It’s likely he’s played his last game for the Angels.” While it’s possible that Otani could re-sign with the Angels, the odds are not in his favor.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK seems to be of a similar mindset. NHK has been broadcasting the Angels’ games, but with Ohtani out for the season, the network has decided to no longer broadcast Angels games. According to Japan’s Full Count, “The network has ended its coverage of the Angels after the 17th game.”메이저사이트
Sam Bloom of The Athletic wrote, “NHK has stopped broadcasting with Ohtani out for the season. NHK has always had Ohtani on camera. They broadcast a lot of games featuring Japanese players, but because of his popularity, the Angels have had him on every game.”
With NHK’s decision to stop covering the Angels, the network will focus on Seiya Suzuki of the Chicago Cubs for the remainder of the season.