Chris “Mad Dog” Russo was in vintage form on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday, bashing the coverage of Shohei Ohtani vs Mike Trout showdown in the final at-bat of the World Baseball Classic.
Russo made it crystal clear he is opposite those who believe the at-bat was “epic” or even remotely worthy of significant fanfare.
“Did you see the headlines today? ‘Epic At-Bat,’ an ‘Incredible Moment.’ Why?”, Russo said.
Not only did Russo take a shot at the moment, he used the segment to take a shot at the talents of Team USA’s captain.
“I mean, Trout does nothing but strikeout,” added Russo.
Russo believes that the tournament, the at-bat as well as the battle of current teammates was far from worthy of praise.
“The game was awful and I was bored stiff…They’re making this at-bat out to be the greatest at-bat in the history of Major League Baseball. It’s March. Can we just take it easy, please,” Russo further exclaimed.
The boisterous sports personality is on an island in believing this at-bat was akin to a Spring Training game. The tournament captured an audience around the world and ended with two of the best players in the game facing off with the championship on the line.
The tournament didn’t have the allure of World Series, but Russo easily went over the line when he labeled Team USA’s captain as a player who “does nothing but strikeout.”
Stephen A. Smith tried to explain to Russo that “theatre matters” and that Mike Trout “when healthy is one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, no one can deny that.” Smith remained on target when he pointed out that Ohtani and Japan did not intentionally walk Trout, but instead chose to let the two stars battle it out in the moment.