Q&A: Shohei Ohtani shares his thoughts on Yankee Stadium: ‘It’s really fun playing here’
Shohei Ohtani broke with tradition at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday, honoring requests from New York and California media to alter his routine.
Ohtani typically fields questions from reporters only on days he pitches, but after mashing a two-run home run during his first at-bat of the Angels’ 5-2 win over the Yankees, he agreed to meet with media members.
Here is what Ohtani said to reporters:
Question: Is there any reason why you wanted to take [batting practice] on the field today?
Shohei Ohtani via interpreter Ippei Mizuhara: I just wanted to see my ball flight. It’s impossible to do that inside. I think I’m going to be hitting outside somewhat decently often here on out.
Q: How did you feel about that home run in the first inning?
Ohtani: Ward got on first in front of me. I just wanted to put a good swing on a ball and get him to third at least with one out. I hit the home run.
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Q: You didn’t have a lot of success at Yankee Stadium in the past, but you did today. How satisfying was it to win today, to contribute in that way, and how does the environment play for your game?
Ohtani: I don’t really follow my numbers at each stadium so I didn’t really have a bad impression of this field, but glad we got that first win of the series. Just want to turn the page and try to get another one tomorrow.
Q: How would you describe the atmosphere of Yankee Stadium?
Ohtani: It’s a beautiful field, passionate fans. I always look forward to playing here. It’s really fun playing here.
Q: Are you aware that today was 100 years to the day the original [Yankee] Stadium opened and Babe Ruth homered?
Ohtani: I knew it was the 100th anniversary, but I didn’t know Babe homered.
Q: What do you like doing in New York when you’re here?
Ohtani: I actually haven’t stepped outside the hotel in New York, so I couldn’t give you an answer.
The following Ohtani interview with Japanese media was translated by staff writer Dylan Hernández.
Q: Thoughts about being able to steal a base?
Ohtani: I think it was good I was able to get to third. I think timing-wise, it was really good offensively.
Q: How do you feel wearing the kabuto (the samurai warrior helmet the Angels use for home run celebrations)?
Ohtani: I’d like to try my best so that I can wear it more. Tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, I’d like to do my best on every at-bat so that I can wear it again.
Q: What were the talks after your previous start about your next start? (Ohtani is scheduled to pitch again on Friday after pitching two innings Monday.)
Ohtani: Simply, it was that my pitch count was low, that there was no reason for there to be a gap after.
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Q: What adjustments do you make when playing on the East Coast for conditioning, like sleep?
Ohtani: I think the most important thing is sleep. There is a time difference. I’ve been planning my sleep from some days earlier.
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