“What a freaking disgrace!” Chris Russo SHREDS Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani for pressuring fan to give up HR ball, demands Shotime to ‘beg for it’

“What a freaking disgrace!” Chris Russo SHREDS Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani for pressuring fan to give up HR ball, demands Shotime to ‘beg for it’

Dodgers extend an olive branch to the fan who caught the “special ball” to end Shohei Ohtani’s HR ball controversy, however, not everyone seems to feel the same.

“What a freaking disgrace!” Chris Russo SHREDS Dodgers and Shohei Ohtani for pressuring fan to give up HR ball, demands Shotime to ‘beg for it’

Shohei Ohtani and Chris Russo [Image Credit: Imago/Elite Sports NY]

LA Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani continues to experience a tough start to the 2024 season following the bomb threat during the Seoul series opener, Ippei Mizuhara’s gambling case, and the latest fan controversy. The fan who caught Ohtani’s first HR ball was apparently threatened and forced into a corner to give away the ball by security and organization staff.

The incident led to fans calling out the Dodgers for their actions against Ambar Roman, who caught the $100,000 ball. Amidst the chaos, American radio host Chris Russo blasted the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ohtani for letting a simple meet and greet escalate into a controversy over forced submission.

The situation took a turn for the worse, when Ohtani admitted to meeting the fan during the post-game conference, while they never crossed each other’s path. Whether his statement was a form of misunderstanding, is yet to be confirmed, but he said, “I was able to talk to the fan, and was able to get it back,” as per his interpreter Will Ireton. Russo slammed Ohtani for the misinformation, noting,

Ohtani’s worth billions. How about Ohtani writes the lady a $100,000 check for the ball after this nonsense? And then telling everyone, ‘You know what? I met the fan. What a nice fan.’ No, you didn’t. You went nowhere near the fan for crying out loud.

Chris Russo on X.

He further blasted the Dodgers for pressuring Roman to give in, despite them being a franchise worth billions. Rather he believes, Shohei Ohtani should be the one to “beg for it”. He called the organization “What a freaking disgrace” as their actions and smiles contradicted each other in this situation.

Furthermore, he believes, Ohtani is the one who wired the $4.5 million money and later blamed it on his former translator Ippei Mizuhara. He said,

He threw that poor translator under the bus like you wouldn’t believe…I’m still waiting for this guy to be arrested, as Ohtani claimed 10 days ago.

Chris Russo on X.

Mizuhara’s gambling case and Ohtani’s involvement have been the topic of controversy for quite some time, as MLB and police investigate the matter. Like Russo, Joe Rogan also questioned the pitcher’s innocence. However, the topic remains highly debated with little to provide clarifications.

LA Dodgers fan reveals being pressured into surrendering Shohei Ohtani’s first HR ball

Following the ball controversy, the fans online are questioning the Dodgers’ handling of the situation. As an LA fan, Ambar Roman experienced a lifetime memory while sitting in the pavilion, and being the one to catch Shohei Ohtani’s historic ball. However, her moment was disrupted as she was hauled by security for further negotiations.
Fan catches Shohei Ohtani's HR ball [Image Credit: Imago/The Athletic]Fan catches Shohei Ohtani’s HR ball [Image Credit: Imago/The Athletic]
As per reports, she was separated from her husband Alexis Valenzuela as they didn’t “want him to influence” her decision in any way or form. They admitted feeling pressured into accepting their terms as they said they said they wouldn’t authenticate the ball otherwise. For her to return the “special ball”, the couple felt they were left with little choices, and ended up receiving two signed hats, a signed bat, and a signed ball.

Usually in negotiations related to the return of a memorable ball between a fan and the player, they usually arrange a meet and greet and trade memorabilia. Roman and her husband Alexis admitted feeling disappointed in how the Dodgers treated their fans and wished there was a fair trade that was equally satisfying.

We’re not trying to extort anyone…It’s just that it’s a special moment, it’s a special ball…I was just disappointed that a team that I hold so dear pulled a quote-unquote quick on us.

Alexis Valenzuela as per Sam Blum of The Athletic.

The team later reported that they would like to extend an olive branch and bury the hatchet in their following game. A team official approached the couple inviting them for an on-field experience at the Dodger Stadium, and to watch their next game from seats at the field club level. The duo was satisfied with their do-over and noted that it’ll be “something I’m going to remember” for a very long time.

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