New Dodger Ohtani says Seoul MLB games will be 'great memories' for him and wife

SEOUL, South Korea — Los Angeles Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani says the upcoming Major League Baseball opener against the San Diego Padres in Seoul will be “great memories” for him and his wife, but he’ll attempt to focus on baseball.

Ohtani spoke to journalists with Los Angeles Dodgers teammates at a packed press conference on Saturday, a day after he arrived here with his wife Mamiko Tanaka.

Otani said it was the first time for his wife “to come with me to a game like this.”

“So I think it’s going to be really great memories for both of us. But like I said earlier, I have one job to focus on. It’s baseball,” Otani said via an interpreter.

In late February, Ohtani, 29, said in his Instagram post that he was married to “a normal Japanese woman” that he had known for three to four years. But he hadn’t said exactly who she was, until he posted another Instagram post with a photo of him and Tanaka on Thursday.

Tanaka, 27, is a former professional basketball player, who played for the Fujitsu Red Wave in the Women’s Japan Basketball League from 2019-23.

The Dodgers-Padres games on March 20-21 will be Ohtani’s debut with the Dodgers, and they will be the first MLB regular season games in Seoul.

In December, Ohtani signed a record $700 million, 10-year contract to join the Dodgers. He underwent surgery on his right elbow last September and will not pitch this season. He will be used as a designated hitter and there is a possibility he could play in the field.

Ohtani says he is aware of the intense international media focus on the games in Seoul.

“I appreciate all the attention. Obviously, attention is always great, being a baseball player and being able to play with these great guys next to me. I’m really excited,” Ohtani said, referring to his two teammates speaking at the news conference, Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman.

“I’m really used to the attention, but I just try to focus on what’s in front of me, whatever it is.”



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