MLB Rumors: Angels reliever’s final exchange with Shohei Ohtani sure sounds like goodbye
Last week, Ohtani cleared out his locker on Friday night following medical tests that revealed the severity of his oblique injury. Ohtani was already planning to undergo surgery for the torn UCL in his pitching arm but was reportedly going to stay in the Angels' ballpark for the team's homestand against the Detroit Tigers.
Then, he left. Packed his bags and left. Ohtani basically ghosted the entire Angels franchise -- well, except for his short conversation with one reliever who happened to be at the right place at the right time.
Angels closer Carlos Estévez was there in the locker room when Ohtani started packing his stuff during the early innings of Friday's game, and he recently revealed to The Athletic the brief exchange he had with the two-way phenom:
“I asked him, ‘Hey, what’s going on?’ And he told me the same that we all now know. I told him, I really respect what you do. This is really amazing to see a guy do this. Don’t change. Be the same guy.'”
Estévez kept Ohtani's massive secret until the following day, when the Angels announced Ohtani would miss the rest of the season due to an oblique injury. Estévez's last words to Ohtani reveal as much respect as regret, a heartstring-tugging act of mourning, for he know he may never get to play with a generational talent like Ohtani again.
The show's over, folks.