Chris Russo Criticized for Remark About Shohei Ohtani’s Hushed Free Agency: 'What Is This, the Atomic Bomb?'

The two-time American League MVP could become the highest-paid player in MLB history this offseason.

Image via Getty/Dave Kotinsky for SiriusXM; Thearon W. Henderson

An apology should be coming soon. At least, we hope.

Chris Russo quite loudly complained on ESPN's First Take Wednesday about how Shohei Ohtani has allegedly chosen to handle his free agency period. In the midst of his verbal tirade, Russo compared "the atomic bomb" to the way teams are privately dealing with the two-time American League MVP from Japan.

"What is the big secret? Jeez, he’s a free agent! He's talked to six teams. ... What is this, the atomic bomb? We're not allowed to find out?" Russo said. "This is baseball, he's a celebrity, this is what it's about. This is stupid. ... And the idea that we have to treat this as the peace talks in Tehran in World War II is ridiculous."

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Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed on Tuesday that the team met with Ohtani last week. According to USA Today Major League Baseball columnist Bob Nightengale, Dodgers general manager Brandon Gomes was "surprised" by Roberts' comment and declined to speak any further about anything related to Ohtani.

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported last month that Ohtani and agent Nez Balelo wanted to keep everything under wraps, including meetings. "If visits between Ohtani and a team are reported publicly, it will be held against the team," Passan wrote.

With that in mind, reporters asked Gomes if Roberts jeopardized the Dodgers' chances of landing Ohtani. "I have no idea," he responded.

What seems to be overlooked about this whole situation is the notion that Gomes' refusal to discuss Ohtani is rooted in the belief that he cannot talk about free agents. Even though Yahoo Sports pointed out that it's not entirely true, it would make sense that MLB teams would prefer to avoid the issue altogether, rather than play in a gray area.

Either way, it seemed like no one was changing Russo's mind about Ohtani. He even complained about not knowing the name of the dog who was by Ohtani's side while accepting his second American League MVP trophy.

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Russo later appeared on MLB Network's High Heat and not only complained about Ohtani's handling of his own free agency period, but brought up the dog again before adding, "Who really cares?!"

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Oh, and if anyone knows about cringeworthy remarks pertaining to Ohtani, it's First Take co-host Stephen A. Smith, who issued an apology in July for saying the MLB has a problem because its biggest draw, Shohei, relies on an interpreter.

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