(CNN) — Shohei Ohtani is not averse to talking about his emotions and the habits of Japanese people.
The Japanese pitcher and hitter, a two-way Major League Baseball (MLB) player for the Los Angeles Angels, was subjected to multiple questions by Japanese reporters about being dropped as a starter and the reaction of his teammates after his departure.
Ohtani did not shy away from dealing with the questions directly, an etiquette of much-cherished Japanese culture that seems to be more important than baseball for the young Japanese.
Media: “Before you pitched, why did you announce that you were going to start?”
Ohtani: “I wanted to reveal the secret — that I was starting.”
Media: “When did you say to the Angels, ‘I’ll be back in April?’
Ohtani: “I haven’t told anybody, but I’m not really clear on how it works. I think they probably didn’t want to rush me. When I asked them for the start, I understand why. I understood that and we agreed.
“They asked for patience. I understand that.”
Journalists: “When you were pitching, did you look at your stats? You are not used to looking at your statistics. During the time you didn’t pitch, did you look at your stats?”
Ohtani: “I looked at them for a while, for two or three days. It didn’t really affect my demeanor.
“In spring training, I thought it would be helpful to know the numbers from the previous innings and prior games, but when I was pitching, I felt like it wouldn’t be that useful.
“I don’t think having numbers gives you any particular advantage when you are pitching. What I do feel that maybe helps me is my competitive nature.
“When I am out there on the mound, I really don’t think about what the numbers are or the hits, runs, wins, losses, whatever.”
Ohtani has been a controversial figure since arriving in the US earlier this year.
He is expected to have a huge influence on Japanese baseball after returning as a second baseman at the end of the 2019 season.