Remember Shohei Ohtani? AKA "Baseball's Superman" AKA "The next Babe Ruth."
He can pitch. He can hit. He can do it all. And the Japanese star is likely headed to MLB in the near future.
We wrote about how the Phillies should make a pitch for him and it turns out HE WANTS TO COME TO PHILADELPHIA!
Wait, what's that? Not to play for the Phillie per se? Shoot.
From a Q&A done with MLB.com back in February that has just surfaced this week:
MLB.com: What cities are you curious about and would like to see?
Ohtani: The Rocky Balboa statue, I want a picture of that.
MLB.com: Philadelphia has a baseball team, you know.
Ohtani: No, I just want to visit there.
OUCH. Just ouch.
You can learn more about Ohtani here.
Big money teams like the New York Yankees, Los Angels Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and a west coast team like the Seattle Mariners are frontrunners for Ohtani's services. The fact they have large Japanese communities appears to help. Word is he'd also prefer an AL team so he can hit as DH on days when he's not pitching. Not great for the Phillies.
"My sleeper for him would be the Phillies," Law said. "They have very little in terms of long-term commitments. The roster is currently young, but likely to improve. They have a disadvantage, obviously, they don't have the DH spot--which I do think is going to be significant. But I think the Phillies probably have a better shot than the average fan would realize."
Phillies beat writer Todd Zolecki also took a look at the Phillies chances, noting manager Gabe Kapler played in Japan in 2005 and has a sense of the baseball culture there. Not to mention Japanese baseball legend Charlie Manuel is also a Philly baseball legend.
And if Ohtani doesn't end up signing with the Phillies, Philly fans can just camp out at the Rocky Statue near the Art Museum if they want to get an up-close look at the next Babe.