There are some people who, when you earn their respect, it just means something different.
In the baseball world, Reggie Jackson — a.k.a. Mr. October — is high on that list. Jackson, who is currently an executive assistant for the Houston Astros, played 21 MLB seasons, won five World Series titles and an MVP.
Yet even he is in awe of the Angels' Shohei Ohtani.
With Los Angeles beginning a series against the Astros Thursday, Jackson spoke to Ohtani before the game, and he came away with the same takeaway as everyone else: Ohtani is one of one in the modern era.
“He does things no one else can be comparable to," Jackson told reporters, per Marc Berman. "You can’t compare him to anybody else. You can compare to him a certain hitter. You can compare him to a certain pitcher. There’s no one that’s done what he’s done except Babe Ruth ... It’s just a marvel. I don’t know how you pay him ... He’s a class act also."
Jackson was seen exchanging words with Ohtani before the game.
MLB's 30 teams — including the Angels — would love to have Ohtani on board for 2024. He's to be a free agent after this season, and everything he's doing with the Angels has an undercurrent of what it will take to keep him. He's well on the way to another MVP-caliber season as a unicorn two-way player as the Angels try to get to the playoffs for the first time with him on the roster.
As Jackson noted, Ohtani isn't comparable to anyone else in baseball. The only player in baseball history who comes close is Babe Ruth, and Ohtani is doing things on the mound and at the plate even Ruth would have trouble wrapping his head around.
According to the Los Angeles Times, one MLB executive predicts a 12-year, $600 million deal for Ohtani as he hits the open market, shattering the record for the largest contract in MLB history.
That latter point is a footnote, as it is all but an inevitability Ohtani's next contract will break the record for total dollars and likely AAV as well.
Ohtani is undoubtedly hoping he can follow Jackson's footsteps to the postseason. Jackson played in 77 playoff games in his illustrious career, but the Angels have come up short of the playoffs every year of Ohtani's career thus far.
We'll soon see if Jackson is singing the same tune if Ohtani finally gets to play deep into October.2023-06-02T03:16:40Z dg43tfdfdgfd