Shohei Ohtani’s record streak puts the whole sport into perspective

A popular question I get asked as someone whose job it is to watch the White Sox every day is whether or not it’s hard to watch a struggling team.

I always respond by saying, “I watch baseball every day. Even my worst days are good.”

I have a quote from Emmy-winning sportscaster Ernie Johnson taped to my desk that reads, “I have an ‘accessible’ job.” It helps to keep the bad days in perspective. Most people have a job to do. I have one to do.

Rarely is that prospect clearer than when the White Sox take on Angels superstar Shohei Ohtani.

In the three games leading up to Thursday’s 9-7 win and split series against the Angels in Anaheim, Ohtani knocked out the White Sox both at the mound and home plate.

In Monday’s 2-1 win over the White Sox, he homered 448 feet from Dylan Cease. In the bottom of the ninth, he helped advance the winning run by walking and then executing a double steal that allowed Mike Trout to score on wild pitch.

On Tuesday, he struck out 10 batters and hit two home runs – the first American League player to do so since Pedro Ramos in 1963. The Angels won that game 4-2 in an eventful performance from Michael Kopech .

On Wednesday, the White Sox kept Ohtani in the stadium in an 11-5 victory, but he had three hits, including a triple and two runs scored.

In eight innings Thursday, the White Sox looked poised to keep Ohtani on a pretty empty stat line. 0 for 2 with two walks (one of which was intentional), he came to the plate with two outs and took Kendall Graveman deep on a 1-2 slider. The Angels lost by just two points instead of four. His 14th home run in the month of June broke Babe Ruth’s record for most by a pitcher who also started a game that month.

On Thursday, Ohtani was named the American League All-Star starter for a third straight season — a fitting end to a historic, record-breaking streak against the White Sox.

As the White Sox head to Oakland for a three-game set against the A’s, I guess I’ll need some good looks at that quote taped to my desk.

But when the White Sox play against the Angels, the reminder to be grateful is there, in the flesh.

I can watch Shohei Ohtani. We all do.

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