Major League Baseball pitcher Shohei Ohtani’s massive contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers has drawn a lot of eyeballs, but the factors that purportedly went into the decision are equally fascinating.
Earlier this month, Ohtani, who played for the Los Angeles Angels last season, agreed to a $700 million, 10-year contract with the Dodgers. According to CNBC, the record deal is 64 percent “higher” than the league’s previous, a $426.5 million, 12-year contract between the Angels and outfielder Mike Trout.
What’s particularly noteworthy about the spectacle, however, is Ohtani’s decision to sign with the Dodgers over the San Francisco Giants, which reportedly offered him a contract containing the “exact terms” he agreed to with the Dodgers. Last week, The Athletic — an online sports outlet owned by The New York Times — published an interview with Buster Posey, a former Giants catcher who now serves as a member of the franchise’s ownership group.
While discussing the fallout from the Giants’ failure to acquire Ohtani, Posey noted how the “perception” of San Francisco being a crime- and drug-ridden city could factor into whether players decide to sign with the organization.
“Something I think is noteworthy, something that unfortunately keeps popping up from players and even the players’ wives is there’s a bit of an uneasiness with the city itself, as far as the state of the city, with crime, with drugs,” Posey said. “Whether that’s all completely fair or not, perception is reality. It’s a frustrating cycle, I think, and not just with baseball. Baseball is secondary to life and the important things in life. But as far as a free-agent pursuit goes, I have seen that it does affect things.”
Posey further added that while Ohtani never raised such concerns during their conversations, members of the pitcher’s personnel team had “some reservation” about the current “state of the city.” As noted by The Athletic, “similar reservations were a factor that [previously] steered former Hiroshima Carp star outfielder Seiya Suzuki away from the Giants to sign with the Chicago Cubs.”
Under Democrat Party rule, San Francisco has become a hotbed for crime, homelessness, and drug problems. On Friday, for example, the San Francisco Examiner reported that the city’s violent-crime rates increased at a “higher rate than the rest of the country through the first nine months” of 2023, driven largely by a surge in robberies. The locality also experienced an 11.3 percent increase in reported motor vehicle thefts.
Meanwhile, San Francisco’s homelessness problem has gotten so bad that digital maps have been developed in recent years to pinpoint the locations of reported human feces littering the streets. City and state officials have declined to address the issue, except when China’s dictator visits, in which case such homeless encampments are cleaned up in a matter of days.
Whether San Francisco’s ongoing problems contributed to Ohtani’s decision to decline the Giants’ offer is unknown. But the mere possibility of it affecting the pitcher’s decision was apparently too much for The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, who penned a screed days after his outlet published his interview with Posey to rant about how “ticked off” he was at people who he claimed took the former catcher’s remarks “out of context, misunderstood them, or misrepresented them entirely.”
While it’s true Posey didn’t directly trash San Francisco and commented on the “perception” of the city’s horrid reputation, Baggarly attempted to project his own beliefs that San Francisco isn’t as bad as everyone says onto Posey, writing “I’d imagine he’s tired of dealing with a narrative that he knows to be untrue” and “he’s definitely dismayed that the false narrative seems, anecdotally at least, to be especially sticky among people in the baseball community.”
The San Francisco Chronicle’s Scott Ostler took his outrage a step further, attacking Posey and Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations, for discussing San Francisco’s reputation using what he claimed are “talking points of a certain former U.S. president and his worshippers in the extreme right-wing media.”
“Do Zaidi and Posey realize they are carrying the gas can for nut-job arsonists?” Ostler wrote. “When Zaidi and Posey felt compelled to make public statements about San Francisco’s rep possibly costing them players, they should have seized the golden opportunity to also give their side of the sales pitch. Folks, this is what we’re hearing from a few players and agents, and here’s the truth.“
In other words, he wants the Giants to downplay San Francisco’s horrid conditions.
But Ostler’s attempt to whitewash the city’s Democrat-manufactured decline got even more embarrassingly outlandish. In his article, Ostler wrote that potential free agents and their wives who are still “drunk on the extremist Kool-Aid” after “hearing the facts” about San Francisco’s reputation “probably would be better off in a crime-free Xanadu like New York or L.A., where every man has a mansion.” He also bizarrely claimed there are “homeless people rocking Giants gear” and even suggested the San Francisco franchise host a “Homelessness Night” during the 2024 season to show how “honest” and “sensitive” its leadership is to the community.