Shohei Ohtani: Former Angels Teammates ‘Happy For Me’

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Shohei Ohtani was in the Los Angeles Dodgers lineup on Tuesday for his first game against the Los Angeles Angels since leaving the team as a free agent during the offseason.

The two-way superstar, who spent the first six seasons of his MLB career in Anaheim, had a chance to reconnect with many of his former teammates and coaches. “A lot of the boys were here today, so I got to catch up with most of them,” Ohtani said through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara.

While the Angels did what they could to convince Ohtani to re-sign, he ultimately joined the Dodgers on a record-setting 10-year, $700 million contract. “They didn’t really give me a hard time,” Ohtani said of his former teammates. “It was more a lot of congratulations and they’re happy for me.”

Ohtani admitted that the Angels were constantly on his mind while he went through the free agency process. “I was thinking about the Angels during the whole free agency before I signed because they were in my mind,” he said.

“Once I signed, it was a done deal. So I felt we had to turn the page and focus on the season with the Dodgers.”

Ohtani is still relatively new to the Dodgers and although he’s quickly become comfortable with the Dodgers, the overall acclimation process is still undergoing.

“I don’t want to compare organizations, but the Dodgers definitely have a different theme to them, a different color to them,” he began. “It’s only been a month, so I feel like Yoshinobu (Yamamoto) and myself will be able to fit in even more.”

Shohei Ohtani playing back-to-back

After going hitless against the Angels, Ohtani was back in the Dodgers lineup on Wednesday, marking the first time he played in back-to-back games this spring.

Ohtani said doing so was a big step in his recovery from elbow surgery and he’s no longer in the rehab stages.

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