In what has to be the most exciting part of a very boring offseason so far, Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani remains unsigned and in high demand. The crown jewel of the 2018 free agents, Ohtani is one of the best pitching prospects of all-time and has a flashy bat to match. He would immediately bring top-end rotation talent to a team, not to mention a flurry of excitement.
Ohtani obviously knows he’s the hottest thing on the block. Since he can pick any team that he would like, he is treating the process like a job interview. Here are the interview questions.
Since I have a number of unnamed sources (I don’t) I was able to obtain a copy of what the Detroit Tigers submitted for these questions. They were flattering, of course, but a couple of answers raised eyebrows...
- Evaluate Ohtani’s talent as a pitcher and as a hitter: He’s a combination of Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera. Or, more accurately, Ty Cobb and 1976 Mark Fidrych. Or Hank Greenberg and Hal Newhouser. You get the point.
- Explain their player development: We don’t develop players, we trade them. You don’t need to be developed anyway, Shohei.
- Medical training and player-performance philosophies: Hit bombs and run with reckless abandon (into outs, it’s kind of our thing). Also don’t get hurt.
- Description of minor league and spring training facilities: Have you been to Lakeland, Florida? It’s... well, it’s fine. But we just remodeled Joker Marchant Stadium! While it was already the only good part of Lakeland, now it’s the best part of all of Polk County!
- Resources for Ohtani’s cultural assimilation into their city: We would offer a full time translator, and honestly, Detroit assimilates you more than you assimilate it. We’ll get you a Shinola watch, introduce you to Eminem, put you in an F-150 and get you a lifetime supply of coney dogs. At that point you’ll be more Detroit than Kid Rock.
- Vision for how Ohtani could integrate into the organization: You would pretty much be the organization. We may or may not be rebuilding. Just be friends with Cabrera and all will be fine.
- Tell Ohtani why their team is a desirable place to play: It might not be the most desirable right now, but you just wait. We are definitely going to be above .500 in 2020. Maybe. If you come here. Hopefully.
So yeah, it wasn’t the most convincing argument ever made, but Shohei Ohtani was never coming to Detroit in the first place. At least the Tigers were honest. Now let’s hope he ends up in the National League so the only time the Tigers see him is on TV.