New York tabloid takes cheap shot at Shohei Ohtani after he turns down Yankees

Big League Stew
The New York Daily News takes aim at Shohei Ohtani after he turns down Yankees. (AP)
The New York Daily News takes aim at Shohei Ohtani after he turns down Yankees. (AP)

The New York Daily News, looking for attention after Shohei Ohtani decided he didn’t want to play for the Yankees, took aim at the Japanese baseball star with one of its typical over-the-top covers. Monday’s issue of the Daily News features Ohtani splashed on the front cover with a big headline that reads, “What a Chicken!”

The subhead, as you see below, reads: “Japan star snubs Yanks, fear big city.” The tweet accompanying the cover picture dubbed Ohtani’s decision as “Stage Fright.” Gee, any guesses why he didn’t want to play in New York City?

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Ohtani’s camp on Sunday pared down the list of teams that were considered to be in the running for the services of the two-way star from Japan — basically everybody. That’s because Ohtani, 23, can throw 100 mph and hit massive homers, which has earned him the title of “The Japanese Babe Ruth.” The Yankees revealed, however, Ohtani won’t be following the Babe in pinstripes.

They’re one of at least 15 teams that confirmed they won’t get an in-person meeting with Ohtani this week. The teams that made the next round — the Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, San Diego Padres, among them — indicate that Ohtani prefers to play on the West Coast.

Yankees GM Brian Cashman also told reporters that Ohtani prefers a smaller market, which is what caused the Daily News to trot out its “What a Chicken!” headline:

We should note that there’s a huge difference between preferring a West Coast team and being in a smaller market than New York (because they’re all smaller than New York) and, as the Daily News says, fearing a big city. But nuance doesn’t make for good trolling, does it?

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Mike Oz is the editor of Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!

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