Ohtani Shohei (29, LA Angels) and Lars Nuthba (26, St. Louis Cardinals), who led Japan to the World Baseball Classic (WBC), met.
On the 3rd (hereinafter Korean time), the two players met ahead of the Angels-St. While Ohtani was on her way to the outfield to pitch to the bullpen, Nutba appeared. The two met for the first time since winning the WBC in March, and after shaking hands and hugging, they talked for about 4 minutes.
According to Japanese media, including 메이저놀이터‘Nikkan Sports’, Nutba contacted Ohtani on the day before the break (the 2nd). It was a non-game day for both teams, and Nutba texted Otani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, to suggest a meal.
However, the meeting did not take place. Nuthba said, “Otani is a good sleeper. He called yesterday to go out to eat, and he said he was sleeping.” After laughing, he said, “Ohtani is a superstar, but he doesn’t decorate well. He is an ordinary, humble and wonderful person. He’s a great baseball player, of course.”
Ohtani is well known as a player who places great importance on sleep. He signed a contract with a bedding company from March 2017, when he was a Nippon Ham Fighters in the Japanese professional baseball team, and receives bedding that suits his body and thoroughly manages his sleep. He sleeps 8-9 hours a day to recover from exhaustion.
When moving from west to east and moving to an area where there is a time difference, I plan a few days in advance when I will sleep. The last schedule in April was 17 games in a row, and Ohtani prioritized conditioning by taking a break at the St. Louis Hotel instead of eating with Nutba.
Meanwhile, Ohtani missed the game on the 3rd and took a break. Second miss of the season. Ohtani, who took two days off and recharged following the rest day the previous day, will start as a starting pitcher against St. Louis on the 4th. Angels coach Phil Nevin said, “I planned to rest two days in a row from the start of the camp. I thought this was good timing, and Ohtani accepted it.”
In the game on the 4th, Ohtani and Nutba could have a head-to-head confrontation. “It’s going to be a fun fight,” Nutba said, “but I don’t want to keep fighting Ohtani.” In 16 games this season, Nutba has a batting average of .412 slugging percentage, .365 OPS, .777 with 2 homers, 6 RBIs, 16 walks, 17 strikeouts in 16 games this season. I’ve never faced Ohtani face-to-face.