May 27, 2024

Shohei Ohtani made his debut in Toronto amidst a chorus of boos from Blue Jays fans. However, he quickly silenced the crowd by smashing a home run in his first plate appearance at Rogers Centre on Friday night.

This homer marked Ohtani’s seventh, tying him with his manager Dave Roberts for the most in franchise history by a Japanese-born player. He also drew a walk and scored in his subsequent trip to the plate during the third inning. The boos from Blue Jays fans stemmed from their disappointment over Ohtani, whom they had hoped to sign during the offseason. Despite reports suggesting an imminent deal with Toronto, Ohtani ultimately signed a lucrative contract with the Dodgers worth $700 million over 10 years.

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Reflecting on the frenzy surrounding his free agency, Ohtani admitted to following the news but clarified that he wasn’t on the plane headed to Toronto as rumored. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was golfing with actor Brian Baumgartner when the rumors broke, described the chaotic scene as his phone incessantly buzzed with updates. Despite the distractions, Roberts managed to regain his focus and deliver an impressive drive on the 15th hole, symbolizing the relief felt by the Dodgers after Ohtani’s eventual signing with the team.

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