Shohei Ohtani press conference Part 1

Shohei Ohtani began his press conference at the Japan Press Club in Tokyo on Nov. 22, 2018. It was one year, 11 days after he had invited the press there to announce his decision to go to the major leagues. He began with a brief statement. The press club host then asked a few questions before opening the floor to nearly an hour of questions. 

I’ve added the Japanese after each section, so please support the effort if you have a better translation than mine. The more we learn the better!

Ohtani’s statement

I had many requests for interviews during the season, but it being my first year and all, I wanted to concentrate on the season and and had few opportunities to respond, so I thought today I would be able to answer about the season and my progress since surgery.

I came here a year ago. Then I felt I had a lot of things ahead of me to do in this season and many various things happened, but in the end it was, I believe, amazingly fulfilling in which I enjoyed each day. Even including the issues I have ahead of me for next year, I think that it was a fulfilling season.

At first of course, I resisted having elbow surgery, I thought perhaps I wouldn’t have it and that it would be best not to have it, but taking a long-term view of my health, I thought it would be great to have no concerns about my health and be able to perform to the best of my ability on the field. In order to do that, I came to feel that it would be necessary to have this surgery.

After the surgery everything went fine and continues to be going well. It’s been a little less than two months and I have no troubles with daily tasks. For the first month or so I was frustrated by not being able to use my right hand as much as I would have liked, but because now I don’t feel any such impediment, I believe it really was good to have had it. Going forward and looking further down the road I see I’ll be able to undertake the rehabilitation I believe will facilitate my full return.





–You consulted with Ichiro Suzuki?

“That was during camp. I really was having trouble not playing as I thought I should and also with my mental attitude. At that point I wanted to question the person with the most experience. So we met and he made time for me. From that I came away in better shape, both in terms of attitude and approach, and that’s how I went into the season. I am so grateful to him and feel I learned so much.”


–You said your goal was becoming the best player in the world?

“It’s only been one year, so regarding that I think I’d like to pass on answering that until I’m ready to retire. I can’t guess how I’ll feel about that myself or how others will evaluate me in the future. I’m not going to change my stance about striving in that direction, but it’s not something you’re going to see in one season. That’s something that will be seen in the proccess of playing five to 10 years, so I want to give it my best shot next year and beyond.”


–Besides learning you could sing “Despacito” and cook, what did you learn about yourself this past year?

“I think it was the same as in Japan, but I felt that there are a lot of excellent athletes who strive to be the best as human beings. It doesn’t matter whether you are in Japan or America but there is an air and an attitude that goes with those great athletes and I felt you can learn so much from just watching them.”


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