The fates of rivals are in stark contrast.
Shohei Ohtani (Los Angeles Angels) and Shintaro Fujinami (Oakland Athletics).
They were rivals when they made their Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) debuts.
But in Major League Baseball (MLB), Ohtani has the upper hand.
“Idoryu” Ohtani was named the American League MVP in 2021. This earned him a huge pay raise to $30 million this season.
When he becomes a free agent at the end of the season, his total value is expected to reach $500 million.
This season, Ohtani has continued to excel on the mound. As a pitcher, he is 5-1 with a 3.01 ERA. As a hitter, he’s batting .280 with 12 home runs. He’s on pace to be the Angels’ MVP.안전놀이터
On the other hand, the $3.25 million-per-year Fujinami’s numbers are abysmal. He has a 1-5 record and a 12.69 ERA. He started as a starter but was demoted to the bullpen.
Fans have criticized Fujinami, saying that he is “aiming for the LVP (Least Valuable Player) award this year”.
However, others are saying, “We’re only 25% of the way through the season. He has time to rebound.” Others point out that it’s too early to give up.