Dave Roberts Expects Shohei Ohtani Gets ‘Fine Reception’ From Blue Jays Fans

As the Los Angeles Dodgers open a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, a spotlight is on Shohei Ohtani after his wild free agency this past offseason.

Early speculation about Ohtani’s next destination was around the clock news at times, with a handful of teams said to be in the mix. The Blue Jays were one of the rumored clubs in it until the latter stages, even going as far as some erroneous reports saying the superstar decided to sign with Toronto and was on his way there to sign.

Now with the Dodgers, Ohtani has continued his blazing offense, sitting atop multiple offensive categories. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts discussed the greeting he expects Ohtani to receive from Blue Jays fans, per Bill Plunkett of the Southern California News Group:

“I think he should get a fine reception. A lot of that stuff that kind of came out wasn’t his doing,” Roberts said. “So it’s not like he disrespected the fan base at all. He entertained them (considered the Blue Jays’ offer) and had nice things to say about them. So I expect him to be just fine.”

Ohtani has handled the news cycle of the offseason, a scandal involving his former interpreter Ippei Mizuhara, and the expectation of joining a new team on a record contract, passing everything with flying colors while maintaining his elite production.

The Dodgers feel confident in where Ohtani is at mentally, and physically, as well. His rehab is on track as he’s appeared in every game thus far, and his throwing program is in the early stages.

Ohtani offered the same contract structure to all interested teams, ultimately landing with the Dodgers for a 10-year commitment worth $700 million.

Blue Jays reflect on Shohei Ohtani’s free agency

The Blue Jays at one point were said to be making progress toward signing Ohtani, with multiple reports suggesting he was flying north of the border to finalize a deal.

That of course never transpired, leaving the Blue Jays organization and their fans very disappointed. Ohtani’s agent, Nez Balelo, later expressed regret for the misinformation that came out.

Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro still believes Ohtani was definitely interested in playing in Toronto.

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