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For Maximum Efficacy You May Wish To Dilute Your Shohei Ohtani Highlight Consumption

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

A little over a week ago, certain colleagues, who shall go nameless here out of professional respect, went "just asking questions" mode on whether Shohei Ohtani felt less relevant this season. In their defense, there were some explanations for why they felt that way: The "Tungsten Arm" O'Doyle phenomenon was gone in favor of the good-but-auraless Dodgers, who are running away with a non-competitive division; Ohtani had slumped for the broader part of the month to the point that his OPS fell to a tragic, tragic .947; and though it's surprisingly easy to overlook the absence of him pitching when you hear the ball come off of Ohtani's bat, it's harder to stand out without a seven-inning shutout to go along with the homers.

Now ignore all of that, as I did. What my colleagues failed to realize at that moment in time is that the Dodgers were about to face the Colorado Rockies (at Coors!), then the Los Angeles Angels (reunion game!), then the Chicago White Sox (doo doo!). The Rockies–Angels–White Sox collective is perhaps better known around the league as the Traveling Rehabilitation Center for Slumping Superstars, and boy oh boy, if there ever existed any "questions" about Shohei Ohtani's "relevancy," I am sure they have been swiftly and abashedly retracted.

Since June 17, Ohtani has slashed .424/.545/1.061—to reiterate, that 1.061 number is a slugging percentage, not an OPS. He has almost certainly had crazier stretches in his career, maybe even this season—and even in that same stretch of time, Francisco Álvarez and Aaron Judge have had a higher wRC+ than Ohtani—but when Shohei Ohtani hits six home runs in nine games, you notice it. Ohtani smashed a two-run home run against his former team—

—and then he did it again the very next day.

If you, like my colleagues who will remain unnamed except for Barry Petchesky, are also suffering symptoms of Ohtani Exhaustion, to such an extent that you believed that Ohtani is harder to root for this season: I hear you, I see you, I feel for you, and I am here to help find a solution. If you watched the above clips and thought, "Wow, it's crazy that Matt Moore just morphed into Zach Plesac in front of our very eyes," consider that the sheer volume of Ohtani's offensive capability might be like having too much of a good thing at once. Your days blend into meaningless bliss. There he is in every clip, looking beautiful and glowing and hopefully sporting a rapidly healing cruciate ligament, not unlike Bambi Jeju. But if there's one thing the eclipse has taught us, it is that you cannot stare at the sun for too long.

The recommended course of action is to step back from the Ohtani highlight reel, and take a tolerance break watching a worse team, like the Chicago White Sox, and then return. Fortunately, the White Sox themselves provided such an opportunity when they played the Dodgers—for every Ohtani at-bat, you were guaranteed several half-innings of the White Sox offense as palate cleansers. Also, Ohtani himself provided something of a change-up: Instead of crushing a fastball deep into the evening, he hit a slow Chris Flexen curveball a mere 376 feet into the bullpen.

Also, take a look at this rare video where a bat boy is the star, saving Ohtani from a foul ball with an impressive bare-handed catch. Does that change of pace make you feel good? Does it make you feel refreshed? That's good, because Ohtani smashed another lead-off home run that had all of the standard accoutrements: 110-plus mph off the bat and 430-plus feet to right-center. That home run came with history too, a bit dated depending on your statistical favor, but not too contrived: Ohtani broke the record for most consecutive games with an RBI as a Dodger. If you still cannot appreciate the highlight, it is recommended that you watch the White Sox face off against Chris Sale later this afternoon.

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