On July 5th, Shohei Ohtani, known as "the best Japanese athlete trained after the Second World War", celebrated his 29th birthday. Shohei Ohtani is 193cm tall and weighs 102kg. At present, he is a star player of American professional baseball team "los angeles angels".
Because the popularity of baseball in China is relatively low, it may be difficult for China people to appreciate the greatness of Shohei Ohtani. Like China, there is no major professional baseball league in Germany. Therefore, the German media once made a very vivid analogy with football. Shohei Ohtani, a Japanese professional baseball player, is like Lionel Messi and Manuel Neuer on the football field.
Messi, known as the best striker of this century, was the minister of the arm stocks who won the Argentine national team in FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 last year. Neuer, known as the best goalkeeper in the world, has a superb defensive ability. If football matches are used as an analogy, Shohei Ohtani can be a goalkeeper like Neuer and create a lot of goals like Messi.
However, in the real football match, it is impossible for a player to be a goalkeeper and a striker at the same time. Similarly, in baseball, it is impossible to be a pitcher equivalent to goal keeper and a home run batter equivalent to a football striker. Of course, this, like football, is not "forbidden" in rules, but "impossible" in human physical fitness. Therefore, all football players and baseball players have never thought about having two jobs on the court.
However, since childhood, Shohei Ohtani dreamed that he could become a "court-riding" player who could throw, hit and run. In 2013, after graduating from high school at the age of 18, he joined the Japanese professional baseball team "Hokkaido Japanese Ham Fighters".
Perhaps it was God who blessed Shohei Ohtani. At that time, the head coach of this team was Hideki Kuriyama, who was called "the first Japanese intellectual coach". Later, coach Kuriyama became the head coach of the Japanese national team. At the WBC(WorldBaseballClassic) held in March this year, he led the outstanding players of Otani Xiangping to win the championship.
At that time, Coach Kuriyama was very supportive of Shohei Ohtani’s dream, and even praised his ability as a "two-knife flow"-usually, when Japanese samurai confronted each other, everyone used a knife, but Shohei Ohtani had both the throwing and hitting knives, so he was called "two-knife flow" by Coach Kuriyama. It didn’t take long for the word "two knives" to become a buzzword in Japan.
In Japanese, the expression similar to the meaning of "two knives" also includes "two pairs of sandals", that is, doing one’s job from nine to five in the morning and doing sideline work after work or on rest days in the evening. This behavior is called "wearing two pairs of sandals" by the Japanese.
However, in real life, neither "two knives" nor "wearing two pairs of sandals" is a compliment. This is because in the traditional Japanese values, the concept of "not serving two monarchs (samurai can’t be loyal to two monarchs at the same time)" and "those who chase two rabbits will lose (those who chase two rabbits at the same time will not get one)" has long been deeply rooted.
Therefore, Shohei Ohtani is under great pressure. However, he finally withstood all the pressure and became a bright star in Japanese professional baseball. In the 2016 season four years later, he led the team to win the national championship in Japan.
According to the baseball agreement signed between Japan and the United States, players who have played in the Japanese professional baseball league for five years can transfer to the American professional baseball league. According to this agreement, coach Kuriyama sent Shohei Ohtani to the American professional baseball team "los angeles angels" in 2018.
At the beginning of Shohei Ohtani’s transfer, the American media made harsh comments. If you borrow the above-mentioned German media, it is "I want to be Messi and Neuer. Is there something wrong with my brain?"
In fact, it is only natural that the American media "bad-mouthed" Shohei Ohtani. After all, since the end of World War II, although the general environment of baseball has been improved, no American baseball player is willing to make such an earth-shattering attempt. Shohei Ohtani, on the other hand, insisted on his "two-knife flow" in the United States.
In 2021, Shohei Ohtani’s capabilities broke out in an all-round way. As a batter, he hit 46 home runs; As a pitcher, he achieved a record of 9 wins and 2 losses and struck out 156 times, which perfectly achieved "the combination of Messi and Neuer". In the end, he won the MVP award that year.
In 2022, Shohei Ohtani continued the excellent state of last season, hitting 34 home runs as a batter and 15 wins and 9 losses as a pitcher. The reason why the loss as a pitcher has increased is mainly because los angeles angels was originally a weak team. Therefore, Shohei Ohtani always gives people the feeling of being alone in the team.
In March this year, the curtain of the new season of the American Professional Baseball League opened, and 30 teams will play 162 games. By July 9th, all the games in the first half of the season had ended, and Shohei Ohtani was striding forward to rewrite the history of American professional baseball.
As a batter, he is far ahead with 32 home runs. Hit rate is 0.302, ranking sixth. RBI 71, ranked second. 7 wins and 4 losses as a pitcher. Strike out 132 times, ranking third. If he has the same wonderful performance in the second half of the season, then he will definitely win the MVP for the second time.
At the moment, there are two things about Shohei Ohtani that have attracted much attention:
One is his annual salary next year. This year, Shohei Ohtani’s annual salary is 30 million US dollars (about 220 million yuan). If the sponsorship contract is added, it is said that it can reach more than 60 million US dollars (about 430 million yuan).
However, Shohei Ohtani will have the right to choose teams freely from next year. Therefore, his annual salary may reach 100 million US dollars (about 720 million yuan). At present, the highest annual salary of professional baseball players in the United States is 43 million US dollars (about 310 million yuan) for pitchers and 40 million US dollars (about 290 million yuan) for batters. Otani is both a pitcher and a batter, so his annual salary is at least the sum of the two.
Second, it is his marriage problem. Shohei Ohtani is 29 years old this year, but he has never mentioned his other half. When the team went on an expedition to new york in April this year, the local media asked him, "What do you think of new york at night?" His answer turned out to be "not very clear, because I have never been out of the hotel."
Therefore, it is said that many Japanese actresses, models and anchors are now coveting the throne of "Otani Xiangping’s wife". In American baseball fields, there are even white women holding "Be my boyfriend!" in the audience. Posters cheer for him.
Personally, I think the most remarkable thing about him lies in his personality and humanity. If there is rubbish on the site, he will immediately pick it up and put it into his pocket; If there is dust splashing on the opponent’s body, he will come forward and wipe it off with his hand; No matter how tired he is in training and competition, he will sign autographs for fans on the sidelines. Not only that, he has never lost his temper on the court. No one knows what great achievements this Japanese treasure will make in the future. I just hope that he can stay away from injuries and be safe and smooth.