156 km from the start… “I didn’t care about Ohtani” Will he finally get out of the shadows?

March 2, 2023 0 Comments

Ohtani Shohei (29‧LA Angels) and Fujinami Shintaro (29‧Oakland) were the best rivals in high school. Many fans and media gathered to watch the rivalry between the two players. Each of them received good reviews and joined the pros, and Japan was expecting a lot of goodwill competition between the two huge talents.

However, as is well known, the two players’ subsequent moves were completely different. While Ohtani created a pitching and hitting syndrome and went on a winning streak, eventually advancing to the major leagues and winning the MVP award, Fujinami was suffering from chronic difficulties and was not well treated in Japan.

These two players met for the first time since the Koshien tournament nine years ago. On the 1st (Korean time), a ‘big match’ took place in the demonstration game. In the midst of 40 Japanese reporters alone, the two players competed against each other. Although it was an exhibition match, the heat was hot. ‘NBC Sports’ evaluated on the 2nd that it was ‘not a normal exhibition game atmosphere’.

Neither Ohtani nor Fujinami finished the game without conceding a goal. Ohtani’s pitching, which had already been proven in the major leagues, was not particularly surprising. Rather, the topic was how well Fujinami would be able to throw against Ohtani. Fujinami passed the first inning well, and faced a big crisis in the second inning as her control was shaken.

Fujinami’s highest speed was 97 miles (about 156 km). Here, the splitter, the most highly regarded breaking ball, had a maximum velocity of 92 miles (approximately 148 km). Fujinami said after the match, “In the first inning she was in a really good mood, but she came in in the second inning and I think she was trying to do too much. She lost command,” she said with a sigh of relief.

It was not just ‘Oakland selection candidate Fujinami’, but it was an atmosphere to see it as a starting mound for ‘Ohtani’s high school rival Fujinami’. So, more topics were raised. Fujinami has not been free from such comparisons for nine years already. Whether intentionally or not, Ohtani’s name always followed him. 저금통 토토

I wouldn’t have gotten tired of it Answering this question, Fujinami said, “I didn’t pay much attention to (Otani)” and said, “This is just an exhibition game. I know the Japanese fans were expecting us to go head-to-head. I think it became good entertainment,” he said proudly.

Perhaps it is Fujinami who will continue to be in Otani’s shadow for the time being. Although the team is looking forward to it, he is not a player who has established himself in the major leagues yet, as the level of the one-year guaranteed contract of 3.25 million dollars (approximately 4.2 billion won) suggests. In such a situation, the constant comparison with Ohtani may be stressful for the player. It is also a burden for the player that Oakland and the Los Angeles Angels will continue to meet as part of the American League West. Many fans are interested in whether Fujinami can get out of the shadows with good grades.

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