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The Phillies’ pitch to Shohei Ohtani

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Why make a boring old PowerPoint when you can woo the Japanese slugger/ace with song!

Netherlands v Japan - International Friendly Photo by Masterpress/Getty Images

The time has come for Shohei Ohtani to begin the free agency process. Now that MLB, MLBPA and NPB have come to terms about how to adjust the posting process, the groundwork has been laid for the latest superstar to cross the Pacific and ply his trade against the very best players in the world.

However, this weekend, the process just got a whole lot tougher.

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reported that Ohtani and his agent have sent a letter asking teams basically to tell why they deserve to have the player on their team. Among the things they are looking for:

The letter, sent to all 30 clubs Friday and obtained by The Times, asks for clubs to address seven non-financial points in their presentations:

“An evaluation of Shohei’s talent as a pitcher and/or a hitter;

“Player development, medical, training and player performance philosophies and capabilities;

“Major League, Minor League, and Spring Training facilities;

“Resources for Shohei’s cultural assimilation;

“A detailed plan for integrating Shohei into the organization;

“Why the city and franchise are a desirable place to play;

“Relevant marketplace characteristics.”

Some may think this to a little presumptuous of the player, to basically ask teams “Why do you deserve me?”, but for a player like Ohtani, who is forgoing millions of dollars by coming now, it makes sense that he wants to make the most informed decision possible by having teams spell out why they want him.

Now, we are all aware how teams will try and woo Ohtani. They’ll send team representatives, front office members, former players, current players, anyone they can in order to secure the rights to the Japanese slugger/ace. They’ll give PowerPoints, Sways, short movies, and anything else their marketing departments can conjure up in order to swing the decision in their favors. Sure money will play a small part, but again, Ohtani wants to be absolutely sure of where he is going to spend the next 3-5 years of his life. He wants to make the best decision possible. ‘

The Phillies probably will send some kind of presentation to Japan. They’ll show how much they are able to spend on him and hope that he is swayed into coming here to lead the final stages of the rebuild. But they’ll need a little help. After all, not having that DH spot that can entice Ohtani to choose a National League team is a point in the “con” column.

So here is my contribution. If you can’t wow them with numbers, hypnotize him with song!

Come to Philadelphia (to the tune of “Part of Your World”, from The Little Mermaid)

We’ve got restaurants and nightclubs a’plenty,
We’ve got good fans (and some dumb fans) galore,
You want cheesesteak joints? We’ve got twenty!
But who cares? No big deal....we want morrrrrrre.

We want to be, where the playoffs are,
We want to cheer, want some fans a’dancin,
Strolling around on ole
What’s that place again? Oh,
Broad Street.

You can just pitch, or also hit,
You can do both of them herrrrrrrrre,
Out of last place, make us your space
Shohei Ohtani.....

Now, part of the problem so far with Phillies fans is we aren’t always sure what we want in a baseball team. Do we want a prolific offense, like the 2008-09 Phillies, or do we want a dominant pitching staff, like in 2011? Well guess what? Having Ohtani is like, it’s like, having a few of our favorite things....

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things (to the tune of “My Favorite Things” from The Sound of Music)

Batters who hit and are tall and left handed,
Pitchers that throw hard and are also right handed,
Fastballs and curveballs and a forkball that sings,
These are a few of my favorite things!

Young guys with fastballs that know how to use it
A God given gift and he will not abuse it,
A kid with an idea of just what he brings,
These are a few of my favorite things!

You want to pitch and then go up and go hit,
That’s fine with us, it won’t hurt a bit
You can do both as we head into spring,
Since these are a few of my favorite things!

Hit on the left side,
Pitch on the right side,
And the money’s not bad!
Simply remember your favorite things,
Then you will feel so glaaaaaaaad!

Ever since I can recall, people have misspelled my last name. Usually, while filing in a claim on something or purchasing a large piece of machinery, when the person asks my last name, I’ll say “Witte” (witty). As I watch them stumble about trying to spell it properly without seeking the proper way to do so, I’ve seen the following versions of my last name:

  • Witty
  • Whitte
  • White
  • Whitey
  • Witt

It can be frustrating, especially when all you have to do is ask. Getting my name spelled properly goes a long way towards how I view a person. So, naturally, where would Shohei Ohtani, a person who has also suffered from multiple spelling of his name, want to go? Why - to a city that actually knows how to spell the man’s name!

Where Everybody Spells Your Name (to the tune of the “Cheers” theme song)

Makin’ your way in the world today, takes everything you got,
When it comes to your last name, it sure would help a lot,
Wouldn’t it be nice for just one day?

Sometimes you wanna go
Where we can actually spell your name!
We have always known about the H!

You wanna be where you can be
In a city with a dictionary,
You wanna be where people correctly spell your name!

You wanna go where people know
All about the silent H,
You wanna go where people finally spell your name!

After seeing these songs and hearing them sung to him, I’m pretty sure it’s enough to entice Ohtani to want to come to Philadelphia.

Take that, Cashman and DiPoto.