The Los Angeles Dodgers have plenty of problems of their own in 2023. Finally, the Angels are in contention for a playoff spot after years and years of disappointment. So it's probably not the best time to ask Shohei Ohtani free agency questions in June when so much can happen between now and November.
But that's the route the Dodgers media took even though the team's recent slide and likely upcoming trade deadline moves are of paramount focus. We know the importance of getting the biggest "story," especially when a player of Ohtani's caliber is right in front of you, but perhaps let the national media handle all of this during the All-Star break when he's going to be bombarded.
Plus, we already know the answer to the question! Ohtani isn't telling anybody his plans for free agency. Why would he even think about doing that when his team is in the midst of a tight division race?
If anything, something like this would irritate the best player in the game. Would it dissuade him from choosing the Dodgers when the time comes? Probably not. But it feels like self-centered attention grab coming from those who represent a team that continuously has it all.
The Dodgers are perennial contenders. They have massive star power on their roster year in and year out and never hesitate to add more. Sure, they've suffered playoff heartbreak, but they've played October baseball 10 seasons in a row -- a remarkable streak most other fanbases dream of.
Dodgers media asking Shohei Ohtani free agency questions feels bush league
"Asked about the mounting speculation that he could sign with the Dodgers in the winter, Ohtani was as soft-spoken and measured as he was when answering any other question in his eight-plus-minute postgame media scrum Wednesday night.- Dylan Hernandez, LA Times
'I want to concentrate on the season.' Ohtani said in Japanese. 'I’m leaving it up to my agent [Nez Balelo], and me personally, I want to concentrate on the season.'"
Simple as that! Just because MLB executives and other players feel like Ohtani may choose the Dodgers doesn't necessarily lay the groundwork to start planting the seeds in the media before the season has reached it midway point.
Very few free agent decisions are set in stone, even when "predictions" like this start to take hold in league-wide discussions. Did anyone see Jacob deGrom going to the Rangers? How about Xander Bogaerts to the Padres? Ohtani to the Dodgers, in some ways, feels like a layup, but the Mets can probably offer the most money. A playoff run from the Angels might sway him to re-sign. You just never know.
It just might not be the best impression to give Ohtani a preview on how overbearing the LA media has the potential to be before he even signs on the dotted line, that's all we're saying.