Chris Russo invokes WWII when talking Shohei Ohtani free agency

Title: Chris Russo’s Controversial WWII Analogy: Ohtani’s Free Agency Secrecy


Shohei Ohtani, the renowned Japanese baseball star, has maintained an air of secrecy around his free agency campaign. While Ohtani and his manager have made it clear that teams mentioning their visits with the two-way star publicly will be frowned upon, Los Angeles Dodgers manager David Roberts didn’t adhere to this vow of silence. This breach of secrecy has sparked heated debates, including one involving sports commentator Chris Russo, who made an unfortunate analogy to World War II during his rant. Let’s dive into the controversy surrounding Ohtani’s free agency and Russo’s controversial remarks.

The Ohtani Free Agency Saga

Ohtani’s free agency has been shrouded in secrecy, with the player and his team insisting that any public mention of team visits will be held against them. This approach is aimed at protecting Ohtani’s privacy and avoiding undue influence during the decision-making process. However, not all teams have respected this request, leading to tensions between Ohtani’s camp and the Dodgers when David Roberts revealed details of their meeting.

Chris Russo’s Unfortunate Analogy

During a segment on ESPN’s First Take, co-host Chris Russo expressed his frustration with the secrecy surrounding Ohtani’s free agency. In the midst of his rant, Russo made an unfortunate analogy, comparing the situation to World War II. He questioned the need for such secrecy, suggesting that if teams reveal that they had a meeting with Ohtani, they should be “thrown out with the bathwater.” Russo’s analogy drew criticism for its insensitivity and inappropriate comparison.

Ohtani’s Reserved Nature

Shohei Ohtani is known for being a reserved individual. Before moving to California, he had never lived anywhere other than his childhood home and the dorms of the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters. Even during his time with the Los Angeles Angels, his media availability has been limited to a bare minimum. Ohtani’s reserved nature can be attributed to his desire for privacy and focus on his game, rather than seeking the limelight.

The Fallout and Controversy

The controversy surrounding Russo’s WWII analogy lies in its insensitivity and the inappropriate comparison between Ohtani’s secrecy and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The mention of such a tragic event in relation to a baseball player’s free agency decision-making process is widely regarded as inappropriate and disrespectful. Russo’s comments have drawn criticism from fans, media, and fellow sports commentators.

Moving Forward

While Chris Russo’s controversial remarks have sparked outrage, it is essential to remember that Ohtani’s desire for privacy is a personal choice. As fans and observers, we should respect his decision and focus on the excitement surrounding his free agency. Ohtani’s talent and contributions to the game have made him a global sensation, and regardless of the secrecy surrounding his decision, fans eagerly await the outcome of his free agency.


Shohei Ohtani’s free agency has become a hot topic in the baseball world, with his secrecy generating both intrigue and controversy. Chris Russo’s unfortunate analogy to World War II has amplified the discussion, highlighting the importance of sensitivity and respect when discussing historical events. As the baseball community eagerly awaits Ohtani’s decision, let us appreciate his talent and respect his desire for privacy.

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