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Shohei Ohtani Loves Boston
How Could You Not
So, this past week, I suffered from a bout of the flu. Nonetheless, I persevered in following all the Ohtani news and reading all the articles I could find. Each day, I began to believe more and more that Ohtani may seriously come to the Boston Red Sox.
There have been plenty of reports saying the Dodgers are the favorites. Frankly, those are just lazy. There is nothing there other than the Dodgers spending a lot of money, which would keep him on the West Coast. Everything else about LA is the opposite of what Ohtani wants.
I had already written a piece about Yamamoto, Masataka, and Ohtani teaming up in Boston. You can read that here. However, I didn't speak much about Ohtani himself and his love of Boston.
Exhibit A: The New Balance Connection
It is believed that Ohtani made around $35 million this year in endorsement deals. Of course, not all of this came from New Balance, but he did sign a long-term deal with them last year. New Balance is based out of Boston, and Ohtani, by all indications, has a great working relationship with them. They, of course, are the ones who are helping him donate a ton of gloves to kids in Japan.
With that there are reports, first on it was Peter Gammons, that Ohtani’s strong relationship with New Balance CEO Jim Davis could be a factor in getting Shohei to Boston.
Jim Davis was born and raised in Massachusetts. Buying New Balance when it was a small 6 man company and turning it into what it is today. Davis is said to be worth $5.1 billion. With reports that the contract money isn’t the deciding factor with Ohtani I wouldn’t be surprised if someone else helped spice up the deal…..
Exhibit B: Instagram Stories
Ohtani boasts 5.9 million followers on Instagram. A healthy number I will admit. He is not super active with only 48 posts on his profile. However, he does post stories pretty often. One in particular caught my eye.
This was a post back in April of Boston from what I assume is Ohtani's hotel room. I am actually 60% sure I stayed in the same hotel when I competed in Boston during college. Does that matter? No, just wanted to remind Brett I was a more successful athlete than he was.
Regardless, Ohtani cherishes privacy in his life. Boston is the perfect city for him to find a hole to hide in. Yes, it is a big market with rabid fans, but the town itself is nothing compared to LA or New York.
Exhibit C: The Love Of Fenway
There really isn't too much here from Ohtani himself. However, in April, he said, "It's one of my favorite parks, so I always look forward to pitching here." "Ohtani, people around him say, has long been intrigued by Boston."
Exhibit D: The Henry Family Has The Dough
First, the Red Sox have some room in the budget right now. They are under the luxury tax line by around $37 million dollars. Of course, any Ohtani contract, short or long, will put them over that. However, new CBO Craig Breslow has said that money won't limit them, which leads to my next point.
John Henry has $5.1 billion dollars. Yes, there have been talks of him stepping back in some ways recently with all his other business ventures. However, after recently reading Miracle At Fenway by Saul Wisnia, I was reminded about how much Henry loved this team and how laser-focused he was on winning a World Series for Boston. Now, it has only been five years, not 86, since the last World Series, but fans are upset. Watching Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Andrew Benintendi, and other fan favorites leave over the previous few years has been challenging.
John Henry has the money to pay whatever the luxury tax is. In doing so, he could reinvigorate the fanbase and probably get the fans back on his side. If not, it might be time for him to sell the team.
Exhibit E: Comfort Level And Privacy
I covered this in my article so that I will be short. Masataka Yoshida, already on the team, is huge for Ohtani's comfort level. If they find a way to get Yamamoto as well, then it only increases the chances of Ohtani taking a discount to be with his countrymen. Ohtani covets privacy; reports are coming out now that if teams make their meetings with him public, he will end talks. He will find that in Boston more so than in LA or Texas, frankly.
Honestly, there is a lot more we could talk about when it comes to Ohtani and Boston, but I think this is enough. Other teams, like the Mariners, Rangers, Dodgers, etc., all have one or maybe two reasons for Ohtani to go. Those are the West Coast and winning. The biggest knock against Boston right now is that they haven't been playing great. If anything, that will be the reason Ohtani passes on Boston.
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