Shohei Ohtani takes heat for not running out fly ball
On a day where the Los Angeles Angels were officially eliminated from playoff contention, Shohei Ohtani made some waves for less-than-ideal reasons.
The Angels star fouled out to left field in the sixth inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Cleveland Indians. Despite the ball being only a few feet foul, Ohtani did not bother to run it out, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Shohei Ohtani made the final out of the 6th inning. His fly ball was caught this far foul (maybe 6 feet) and he didn't even run. pic.twitter.com/5t0DVlBTW4
— Jeff Fletcher (@JeffFletcherOCR) September 11, 2019
Some did not blame Ohtani for the sequence, saying there was no reason for him to run if he could tell it was going foul from the moment it left his bat.
Good ball players know when a ball is going foul. Nothing to see here.
— Casual Fan (@LeCasualFan) September 11, 2019
Japanese broadcast knew it’s a foul ball. Ohtani may knew it too. Why should he run???
— K (@keitanisan) September 11, 2019
This is obviously 100% foul,
If the guy drop it, Ohtani is back AB.
Don’t understand why he had to blamed??? pic.twitter.com/M8OEDrvBJr
— Roo17 (@goshoheiohtani) September 11, 2019
Others were much less sympathetic however and saw the play as a sign of a greater sense of apathy permeating Ohtani and the rest of the Angels team.
Shows the lack of heart and discipline of the team. Jeff do you honestly believe Eppler and Ausmus deserve another season based on players behaviors and players on the team?
— Chuds33 (@chuds33) September 11, 2019
This team stopped trying months ago. That falls on Asmus.
— Brandon Stewart (@BStewart05) September 11, 2019
Ausmus has brought in a lack of work ethic and discipline on this team. They easily quit, something you don't see on other teams.
— Robert Davis (@bdavis621) September 11, 2019
Ohtani, who is hitting .289 with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs this season, is not a player who is usually criticized for his lack of effort, so this may be an isolated incident if anything. In any case, this was far from the worst such sequence for an Angels player this year.