OBSERVATIONS: Some Ohtani Fallout. . .And It’s Money Falling

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, acting busy while Nadine wraps a couple dozen Christmas gifts (Me wrap? I’m all thumbs and crooked thumbs at that) .

—OHTANI OH MY: Some fallout over the $700 million contract the Los Angeles Dodgers gave Shohei Ohtani. . .and that fallout is $100 bills falling from the sky.

Consider this, as was brought up by Hall of
Fame sports writer Jayson Stark. Ohtani is baseball’s only two-way player, a pitcher (when healthy) and an outfielder, and one of the best in both phases.

So the Dodgers are getting two players in one, like Aaron Judge and Gerrit Cole in one body. And the combined contracts of Judge and Cole comes to $684 milllion, a mere $16 million shy of Ohtani’s deal.

Former Cincinnati Reds general manager Murray Cook’s e-mail answer when I asked if he would have liked to negotiate a $700 million contract:

“I can’t even spell 700 nillloin,” he wrote.

And Joey Votto was in a store when he heard about Ohtani’s deal. He said, “I chortled out loud in a shop and a person asked me if I was OK.”

Chortled? Did he mean choked?

Talented writer Scott Miller has followed Ohtani’s career far back to when he still played in Japan. Miller said he sipped coffee in Japan with Japanese scout Takashi Ofuchi,

Ofuchi is the man who convinced Ohtani to sign with a Japanese team that would permit him to both pitch and play the outfield, to show it can be done.

“It’s like Michaelangelo and Einstein (in one body),” said Ofuchi. “They could do art and science, everything.”

OK, let’s break this contract down to the man on the street’s terms.

Ohtani will be paid: $11,7 million a month, $432,099 per game, $180,041 an hour, $108,025 an at bat, $48,011 an inning, $3,001 a minute and $50.01 a minute.

How’s that for perspective. And how does your checkbook look?

And in a bizarre move, Ohtani wants the Dodgers to just pay him $2 million a year and defer the rest. That means he’ll be paid only $20 million over the 10-year deal, leaving him $680 million to retire on.

What financial genius came up with this idea? How can Ohtani possiblly live on $2 million a year. Well, he makes $50 milllion a year in endorsements. Oh.

—WILT DIDN’T WILT: Some of sport’s all-time greats began their careers as if they were going to be major flops. As a piece in Cigar Aficionado pointed out, Willie Mays, in the Top Three as baseball’s all-time best all-around player, began his career 1 for 25. His one hit was a home run off Hall of Fame pitcher Warren Spahn.

Hank Aaron and Derek Jeter went 0 for 5 in their first games. Legendary quarterback Troy Aikman, winner of three Super Bowls, threw two interceptions and threw more incompletions than completions as his Dallas Cowboys were shut out in his debut. Bill Russell led the Boston Celtics to 11 NBA titles in 13 years, but he scored just six points and was 3-for-11 from the field in his first game.

Then there was Wilt Chamberlain, playing his first game for the Philadephia Warriors in Madison Square Garden against the New York Knicks.

The 7-foot-1 Wilt the Stilt scored 43 points and snatched 28 rebounds, playing all 48 minutes of his cominbg out party.

Said Knicks coach Fuzzy Levane, “Right from the beginning I could see what it was going to be like. On one of the game’s early plays Wilt and Kenny Sears went up for a ball near the basket. They both got their hands on it, but Wilt jumped and dunked it into the basket with both hands.

“Sears was still hanging on to the ball and I swear I thought Chamberlain was going to stuff Kenny into the basket, too,” Levane added.

—IT’S ONLY FOOTBALL: The times we are living in can be so sick in many ways.

Miami University athletic director David Saylor served on the 13-person College Football Playoffs committee to select the four finalists — Michigan, Alabama, Texas and Washington.

Since the announcement Saylor is receiving trash and garbage mail, death threats and hate mail. Some are so serious, as in, “I know where you live,” that the FBI is involved.

Hey, folks. . .it’s football, it’s entertainment, it’s a diversion from our every day troubles. But, unfortunately, it can be a sick society.

—SCHEDULING PUSHOVERS: There are some schools that do not have the Christian attitude, especially on a Sunday afternoon against some Christian schools. They schedule games against schools they have no business playing and it is like the Christians versus the Lions (And not the Detroit Lions).

The match-ups are so lopsided that Las Vegas will not issue point spreads or odds on them.

Some examples from Sunday:

^^^North Dakatoa State 108, Oak Hills Christian 14 (Yes, that’s no typo. . .14.)

^^^UT-Martin 110, Ecclessia 52 (That school doesn’t even know how to spell Ecclesiastes.)

^^^UNC-Wilmington 119, Montreat 50. (That’s Montreat, not Montreal.)

^^^Stetson 123, Johnson 43. (After the game, Johnson needed Johnson & Johnson.)

^^^Eastern Kenucky 121, Bethany 56. (Western Kentucky and Northern Kentucky must have been busy Sunday.)

^^^Chattanooga 112, Tennessee Wesleyan 51. (The choo-choos could have walked through this one.)

^^^Niagara 113, Buffalo State 64. (That’s not the University of Buffalo, it’s the Buff State Bengals.)

^^^Abilene Christian 120, Howard Payne 69. (Clearly a case of Christians doling out a lot of pain.)

^^^William & Mary 99, Virginia-Lynchburg 50. (William needn’t have shown up, Mary could handle this lynching.

All of those games are akin to Dayton scheduling Willberforce.

—NFL NUTTINESS: What happened Monday night to the Miami Dolphins hadn’t happend to an NFL team in 776 games. The Dolphins owned a 14-point lead over the Tennessee Titans with three minutes to play.

And they lost, 28-27. A team with a 14-point lead and three minutes to play had won 776 straight games.

That game was almost as bizarre as Minnesota’s 3-0 win over Las Vegas. When I saw that score, I knew it wasn’t baseball. They aren’t playing.

Maybe it was hockey — Minnesota Wild 3, Las Vegas Golden Knights 0. Maybe it was a soccer game — Minnesota United 3, Las Vegas Lights 0.

Nope. It was two bad NFL teams, the 
Vikings and the Raiders. And the score was 0-0 until Minnesota’s Greg Joseph banged home a 36-yard field goal with 1:57 left in the game to give the Vikings the 3-0 win.

—WHAT LETTERS MEAN: From my old friend Ryan Brant: “Somebody in a restaurant yelled, ‘Does anybody know CPR?’ I answered, ‘I know all the letters of the alphabet.’ Everybody laughed but one guy.”

Speaking of the alphabet, when somebody asked me if I like asparagus and broccoli, I said, “My answer is the two letters that follow ‘M’ in the alphabet.’”

—QUOTE: From comedian Steven Wright on food: “I went to a restaurant that serves breakfast at any time, so I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.”


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