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Murph: I can’t handle the Shohei Ohtani Sweepstakes



© D. Ross Cameron | 2023 Sep 2

Is it Sho-time? Or is it Sho-ver?

This Shohei Ohtani thing is killing me. And you. And I feel like if I Jock Blog about him, Shohei will hold it against the Giants for violating privacy and sign with the Dodgers out of spite.

That’s how crazy the Shohei Shweepstakes are.

I have PTSD and he hasn’t even signed. Call it Pre-Traumatic Shohei Disease.

Then again, there is this wacky feeling: Do you even want Shohei Ohtani at this point? After he’s held all these teams hostage with his demands? When you’re not even sure he’s going to pitch again? When you consider he played six seasons alongside Mike Trout and the team **NEVER HAD A WINNING RECORD IN ANY OF THE SIX SEASONS**?!?

Let’s not be absurd. Of course you want Shohei Ohtani. You want him for 10 years at $550 million and you love every minute of it. Guy led all of MLB with a 10.1 WAR last year. Or a 10.0 WAR. Or a 9.0 WAR.

That’s how ridiculous WAR is: Fangraphs, ESPN and Baseball-Reference each has a different way of measuring it. 

(I’d like to be able to choose between Fangraphs, ESPN and Baseball-Reference when I do my Friday morning weigh-ins. ESPN said I weigh 206, but Baseball-Reference said 203 and Fangraphs said 198. I’m going with Fangraphs.)

The formula for WAR is as protected as the formula for Kentucky Fried Chicken, so let’s just agree that by any baseball metric, Shohei is finger-lickin’ good. Yeah, I just typed that.

But for some reason, we are all wracked by raging pessimism. Previous Jock Blogs have covered this, but the Giants don’t get the rose in these ceremonies. Not since Barry Bonds in 1992. That was so long ago, my friends were telling me my Will Clark impression sounded just like my Ross Perot impression. (Look him up, kids.)

Some of us are on to Plan B — build around the kids, sign Blake Snell and Matt Chapman and Cody Bellinger (or some version thereof) and use the money in a more versatile way. Some of us are fatalistic — the Farhan Zaidi Giants are somehow cursed or unable to sign any scintillating players. Some of us are measured — thinking that the steady hand of Bob Melvin will seep into the win column and the Kyle Harrison-Marco Luciano kids can be entertaining.

But either way, please God, make it end. My 16-year-old checks Shohei tweets hourly and as a result we are being held hostage by the quirky posts from Joseph Kim (@blackwings2011) who two days ago posted: “#SFG is the front runner!! Do I have to tell ya this everyday? So tired now . . . “ — and then posted today “#SFG, #LAD and #TOR are the front runners but one unknown team is aggressive!!”

None of us knows if @blackwings2011 knows what the living heck he is talking about but here I am quoting him in the Jock Blog.

That’s the definition of PTSD — pre-Traumatic Shohei Disorder.

Bottom line: I’m not expecting it. I am rooting for a creative Farhan trade to land controllable everyday players, and for player development and the soothing sight of Matt Williams in black-and-orange in the third base coach’s box to get me through the night.

But . . . if he signs? The mania? The tickets? The bombs into the Cove? The excitement around a team that hasn’t had excitement in a couple of sluggish years? Hoo boy.

See? There we go again. Time to log off. Wake me when it’s over.