Ohtani made big public comments on how he feels about the prestigious title in his GQ interview this week:
I love those comments. He doesn't see it as a responsibility, or as added weight on his shoulders. He simply is employed by the Angels to play baseball, and so that's what he's doing and that's how he's living his life.
LA Angels' pitching and hitting superstar Shohei Ohtani is embracing his title as the face of baseball.
Shohei Ohtani has in the past come under scrutiny by xenophobe Stephen A. Smith who famously said; "I don't think it helps that the number one face is a dude that needs an interpreter so you can understand what he's even saying!"
Ohtani responded to these comments gracefully.
I like that Ohtani continues to point out the fact that he doesn't even think about outside distractions and noise like that. He keeps reminding everyone that he came here to play ball, and play to his best effort. After all, as he mentioned, play on the field is absolutely the most important aspect of communicating to the fans.
It's why what Smith said was so delusional. Smith said this at a time when the top 10 most-viewed baseball games of the year were ShoTime games.
Ohtani expressing that he enjoys being the face is a good thing, because it's likely to continue. This was just Ohtani's first season staying healthy as both a pitcher and hitter, and elite Manager Joe Maddon now has even more intel on how to best use the most dangerous weapon in the game.
It's very possible that Ohtani's performance still continues to improve. After all, Ohtani already has bounced back from Tommy John surgery by having the greatest season in sports history. He's the true definition of an iron man, and betting against him wouldn't be wise.