A chat with Godzilla: Hideki Matsui on Yankees job, Shohei Ohtani, and adjusting to America

My focus has been on working with children, because the baseball population has been dwindling in Japan. So that’s something I’ve been really focused on. I haven’t actually thought much about how Major League Baseball can be improved.

Dodgers: Yes, the Dodgers have lots of rotation options. Yes, they have elite pitching prospects who could make major impacts in 2018. But they also have a desire to A) Win the World Series and B) Control their payroll. Archer could help the Dodgers accomplish both goals. And remember that LA front-office guru Andrew Friedman traded for Archer once before, when he was the Rays’ GM and Archer was a prospect in Cubs organization.

Nationals: Yes, they have Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg atop the rotation, but they’ve already been linked to Jake Arrieta, and GM Mike Rizzo loves a powerful rotation. And, of course, there is urgency here with Bryce Harper’s expected departure after the 2018 season. Adding Archer for multiple years would help them retain a very legitimate contender status.

Unfortunately for Arrieta, a slow free-agent market forced him to accept a lesser deal than he reportedly turned down from the Cubs. Chicago made a last-ditch call to Arrieta, gauging his interest in a deal similar to what Darvish eventually agreed to. Darvish signed a six-year, $126 million deal, but before that deal was closed Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein reportedly put in a final call to Arrieta, who had been a mainstay of the team’s rotation in recent seasons.

Shohei Ohtani, the most celebrated hitter/pitcher in baseball since Babe Ruth, had mixed results in his first MLB game appearance in Tempe, Ariz.

The 23-year-old former Japanese star got the start for the Angels against the Brewers. He went 1 1/3 innings, throwing 31 pitches, before manager Mike Sciosia pulled him with the score tied 2-2. That’s standard procedure for most pitchers in early spring games, to have a low pitch count and come out early.

The right-hander struck out the first and the last batter he faced in the first inning, but labored in between. He fell behind leadoff hitter Jonathan Villar, 3-1, who then smashed a line drive to deep center that bounced over the wall for a ground-rule double.seahawks_002_b2441fff1b920b96-180x180

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