Two-way sensation Shohei Ohtani missed a start because he took public transit to the game and may have gotten on the wrong train
- Shohei Ohtani was scratched from his start on Thursday against the Oakland Athletics.
- Ohtani encountered a problem with the Oakland metro and didn't have time to prepare for the game.
- A metro spokesperson said there was no delay, but Ohtani may have taken the wrong train.
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Shohei Ohtani missed his start against the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night due to an incident with Oakland's public transit.
The Los Angeles Angels two-way star was originally on a team bus to RingCentral Coliseum, but a traffic accident on the Bay Bridge, which connects San Francisco and Oakland, forced the bus to turn around. Ohtani and his teammates had to find another way to get to the stadium and opted to use the public metro system, Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
But Ohtani and his teammates encountered an unconfirmed issue with BART and were so late to the coliseum that Ohtani didn't have enough time to warm up to pitch, and the Angels had to start relief pitcher Patrick Sandoval.
Angels manager Joe Maddon said Ohtani prefers three hours of preparation before a start to feel most comfortable.
"For us, Shohei's most comfortable, he's pretty much regimented to get everything going about 4 o'clock for his start," Maddon said during a zoom conference with reporters. "It exceeded that by maybe an hour, so we started calling the audible at that point to not pitch him tonight. And if we're not going to pitch him, we're going to DH him."
The news of Ohtani's delayed arrival was initially reported by Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com. It prompted a response from the official BART Twitter account, which said the service was unaware of any such problems.
"We did not experience any issues on our end. We confirmed with Operations Control Center there was no delay for any Coliseum-heading train during the Bay Bridge incident," BART's tweet read.
-SFBART (@SFBART) May 28, 2021
Minutes later, BART sent a follow-up tweet saying that a social media employee who was on his way to the Coliseum hoping to see Ohtani pitch was the one who confirmed that there was no delay with the train to the coliseum.
A BART spokesperson told Insider that Ohtani and his teammates possibly got on the wrong train, and that is why they were late.
"We have an unconfirmed report that the Angels may have boarded a train that was not on a line serving the Coliseum, and they had to transfer to a different line, which obviously takes more time than boarding a train that goes directly to the Coliseum," the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson did confirm that the employee was not on the clock when he made the report and was doing so out of personal interest.
"He has the ability to call our Operations Control Center directly to gather information about delays," he said. "Although he was no longer officially working at the time, he went above and beyond the call of duty to confirm that there was no delay and to set the record straight."
Ohtani did play in the game, but as a designated hitter, and went 0-for-3 at the plate. Sandoval threw five scoreless innings in a rare start, but the Angels lost the game 5-0 after the Athletics scored five runs in the sixth inning.
Ohtani is now slated to pitch on Saturday night and will look to build on a historically impressive season for a two-way star.
"BART's on-time performance percentage is in the high 90s. If Shohei wants to get to the mound on time tonight he would do well to consider taking BART," the BART spokesperson said.
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