Heyman: ‘Baseball is better’ with Shohei Ohtani joining Dodgers

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Thomas Hall
6 months ago
Less than 48 hours after Shohei Ohtani announced he’d chosen to sign with the Los Angeles Dodgers, several American-based reporters have taken this opportunity to kick the Toronto Blue Jays while they’re reeling from the two-way superstar’s decision, with the New York Post’s Jon Heyman becoming the latest to pile on.
Heyman, who primarily covers the New York market and rarely hides his biased opinions, wrote his latest column on Sunday, outlining the benefits of Ohtani staying in Los Angeles rather than signing his record-breaking $700 million contract north of the border. Thus, he claims “baseball will be better” for it.
The MLB Network reporter opened with speculation regarding the name of Ohtani’s dog and stated he didn’t have any issues behind his camp valuing secrecy throughout his free agency. He then praised the reigning American League MVP for, in his words, doing “the right thing by us by signing with the long favored, consistently excellent and historically relevant Los Angeles Dodgers. So at least we will now be able to continue to follow his career.”
And it continued even further in Heyman’s next paragraph.
“No offense to the Toronto Blue Jays, rumored in the final days to be making progress, but this is much better for Major League Baseball,” Heyman wrote. “I know I will be accused of being an American but the Dodgers are a storied franchise, the franchise of Jackie Robinson, Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully. Baseball will be better for it.”
Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
But the besmirching didn’t stop there, as Heyman dug into whether Toronto had a realistic chance at landing Ohtani, which he believes they did not. Two factors he feels worked against them were the Dodgers’ recent success – which includes 12 NL West Division titles since 2008 and a shortened season 2020 World Series trophy – and his desire to remain on the West Coast.
Heyman also argued that while becoming the face of baseball in Canada likely would’ve earned him additional revenue off the field through marketing and endorsements, moving to Toronto wouldn’t have been as enjoyable to call home for six months of the year.
Speaking of the city that the Blue Jays reside in, Heyman said it has a “small-time feel” for every sport other than hockey. Needless to say, he forgot about the Raptors’ 2019 NBA championship parade, which flooded the streets with over a million people. Because this country only cares about one sport, right?
Back to Ohtani, the Blue Jays reportedly hosted the two-time AL MVP at their player development complex – which underwent a $100-million renovation a few years ago – during Day 1 of last week’s Winter Meetings.
But Heyman suggested his visit at their “spruced-up spring training facility” may have been more of a negotiating tactic as rival executives told him “no one ever decides where they will live and play based on six weeks at a spring training site, no matter how lovely it is.” He also added that if they did, players would be “lining up to sign with the Rockies or Diamondbacks.”
Heyman also claims, “LA is where Ohtani belongs. Just glad he knew that, too.”
In addition to the Ohtani blasphemy, Heyman also suggested the Blue Jays “missed their chance to acquire Juan Soto, and saw him go to the competing Yankees.” Technically, that is true. But considering the package of arms (Michael King, Drew Thorpe, Jhony Brito, Randy Vasquez) New York sent to San Diego, Toronto likely had little chance to make a more compelling offer.
It wasn’t long, however, until a pair of individuals voiced their displeasure with Heyman’s hot takes – and other national MLB reporters’ dismissal of Toronto – former Blue Jays hurler Ricky Romero and current ace Kevin Gausman, who took to X – formerly Twitter – to defend their team.
In all likelihood, neither of these responses will likely have much of an impact south of the border, which, at this point, is simply standard operating procedure.
But those who follow Canada’s lone MLB franchise regularly are fully aware of the value of representing an entire nation rather than a single state.


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