The Angels have asked Shohei Ohtani fans to quiet down during his at-bats
And no, the request did not come from the Japanese two-way star
Over the weekend, Los Angeles Angels two-way wunderkind Shohei Ohtani continued his stellar start to the season against the Kansas City Royals. He went 3 for 8 with a double, a triple, and 3 RBI in two games as the DH. He did not pitch in the series.
According to Bob Nightengale of USA Today, three young fans -- female exchange students from Japan -- sitting behind the Angels dugout were asked by Kauffman Stadium security to not cheer so loudly during Ohtani's at-bats. The request came from the Angels dugout but not Ohtani himself.
Here's more from Nightengale:
It was a bizarre request, considering there were only 15,011 announced fans at Kauffman Stadium, and there's going to be plenty of times during the course of the season that the taunts and jeers will be deafening.
"He heard it, he's thankful for the cheers,'' said Ippei Mizuhara, Ohtani's interpreter, "but at the plate, he likes to focus and block out the noise.''
Ohtani isn't asking anyone to hold up a "Quiet, Please,'' sign, but he expressed his gratitude for the co-eds adhering to the Angels' polite request.
"I was aware of that,'' Ohtani said, "but I wasn't the one that asked for that. (The Angels) just did it so everyone could focus at the plate.
"I was thankful for that.''
An odd request, to be sure. During the course of the 162-game season teams routine play in front of 40,000-plus screaming fans, and they've come up with non-verbal ways to communicate. Hand signals are as much about communicating when it can be hard to hear as they are keeping the other team out of the loop.
Of course, once opposing fans hear about this, I imagine Ohtani's at-bats will be quite noisy on the road going forward. That comes with the territory. Once something like this gets out, forget it, Ohtani's at-bats will be the loudest in baseball, even when he's not smashing dingers in front of the home fans.
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