Shohei Ohtani press conference Part 3

This is the third part of my translation of Shohei Ohtani’s press conference on Thursday, Nov. 22 at Japan’s National Press Club in Tokyo. Sorry for the delay, in getting the next part out. I appreciate your patience.

—At some point, you may have to choose whether to hit or pitch?

“At this time, I’m not thinking of that at all. I can imagine a case where I’d be employed mostly as a pinch hitter at the end of the season or asked to play mostly in the field. It’s not about that being good or bad, but, I think, something that comes with life as a pro ballplayer. I think that path will occur naturally.”

“One could also say that deciding on such a (specialized) course from the very start is unusual. If one looks at it that way, there wouldn’t be anything to consider at the stage I’m currently at. In the natural course of things, it may become a possibility, but at the present, I cannot imagine (specializing).”



—What things are you considering ahead of next season?

“Next season I will mainly be employed as a batter, so it will be a little different from this season when unfortunately I was sidelined at a crucial time for the team. I don’t know from what point I’ll be able to play in real games, but once I do rejoin the team, I want to contribute, improve and compete alongside my teammates until the end of the season.”


—Did you know about the custom of the first-home run silent treatment?

“I didn’t know about it at all. My first impression was that something might be going on but I didn’t understand. After they got me, however, I was happy that they made time to do that for me.”

“Going forward I want to hit a lot more home runs, and if we can do more things like that (stunt), I think it would make us a better team. From next season I’ll do my best to hit a lot of home runs.”



—How would you rate this past season (on a scale of 1-100)?

“I don’t give myself scores, so I wouldn’t do that, but having already mentioned about being sidelined I would say that if I did rate myself, I wouldn’t give out a very good score.”

—Did you communicate with your old Fighters teammates?

“Yes, I often had contact with teammates from my time with Nippon Ham so I thought maybe there’d be a chance to meet them. It’s not so much like I have something to say, but that’s how it’s been even until today.”


—How does it look for your return as a batter?

“With each step of one or two weeks, I meet the training and medical staff about the next step. There is a kind of schedule template, but the reality is completely different. People vary, conditions change, so you cannot say, ‘This stage is going be this long.'”


—You wore a red necktie to America, the color of your sponsor Japan Airlines. Is there a reason for today’s black tie?

“None at all.”


—Your biography is now on sale in America. Did you know that?

“No. I didn’t know that. But, it makes me happy.”


—Was there any music you liked in America?

“Nothing like that at all. Music is playing in the locker room, but you hear the same songs a lot. What those songs are called I don’t know, but it seems they’re comparable, the same kind of music.”


(Editors note: Wait a minute. Not even “Despacito?”)

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