Mad Dog bites on Yamamoto ‘joke,’ calls for an end to offseason drama

Radio host Chris "Mad Dog" Russo and Japanese ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto

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The high drama surrounding Yoshinobu Yamamoto this offseason has drawn a sharp reaction from radio host Chris “Mad Dog” Russo. He even termed such an offseason frenzy built around hyped rumors about the Japanese sensation as a “joke” demanding and end to such drama for the sake of game and baseball fans.

Russo criticized MLB, highlighting that certain free agents might sign in the middle of March, emphasizing that this approach isn’t conducive to running a sport effectively. He expressed the viewpoint that a hiatus of three months would be more appropriate, yet baseball doesn’t align with such a break while coming down on the frenzied rumors on Yamamoto.

Russo rails over Yamamoto rumors, offseason Chaos

The most anticipated free-agent news in baseball revolves around the destination for Japanese pitching sensation Yoshinobu Yamamoto. The Yankees, Mets, and Dodgers are considered the leading contenders to secure the services of this sought-after free agent.

A Japanese newspapers coverage highlights hyped chase of Yoshinobu Yamamoto by Yankees, Dodgers, and other MLB teams.
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Yamamoto has until the signing deadline on January 4 to make his choice regarding which MLB team he wishes to join. However, with no decision on the horizon, Russo has expressed his dissatisfaction.

Russo expressed his weariness with the baseball free agency dragging into spring training during his “What are you mad about?” segment on Wednesday’s “First Take.”

He suggested putting everything to rest for three months, relaxing without focusing on baseball, and preparing for the season in March. Instead, he lamented the continuous trickle of information about player signings, speculations about team acquisitions like the Mets potentially acquiring Yamamoto, discussions about players such as Shohei Ohtani, Blake Snell’s availability, and the Yankees’ options. He expressed frustration over the ongoing and seemingly endless cycle of updates, deeming it all to be a joke.

“Let us put everything to bed and we can relax for three months and not pay attention to baseball and we can get ourselves organized in March and get ready for the season. Instead, we get dribble, drabs of information of what guys gonna sign where. If the Mets are gonna get Yamamoto. Who likes [Shohei] Ohtani. Blake Snell is available. What can the Yankees do? And it goes on and on and on and it’s a joke.”

A significant issue

Russo further expressed his concerns, labeling it a “significant issue” for baseball, emphasizing the need for a resolution to the situation.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto is a key target for the New York Yankees during the 2023 offseason.
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Despite the ongoing speculation and drama, Russo’s perspective remains unchanged. He pointed to the NFL and NBA offseason models, highlighting how football has its free agency and draft, bringing closure to the process, while the NBA has a brief period in July before going quiet.

While “Mad Dog” may have a point, it’s worth noting that offseason news tends to linger in both the NFL and NBA.

For instance, last summer saw contract negotiations with Giants running back Saquon Barkley and Raiders star running back Josh Jacobs extend through free agency and into training camp.

The mystery surrounding Shohei Ohtani’s signing with the Dodgers and the prolonged decision-making process of Yamamoto have contributed to the prolonged state of baseball free-agency discussions.

As bidding for Yamamoto might surpass $300 million, Buster Olney of ESPN reported on Wednesday that the Yankees hold a “subtle assurance” and believe they have a genuine chance at securing the Japanese pitching ace. SNY reports that Yamamoto might reach a decision by the week’s end.

What do you think? Leave your comment below.

One thought on “Mad Dog bites on Yamamoto ‘joke,’ calls for an end to offseason drama

  1. How much money is enough? If Yamamoto wants the history and legacy of the most storied franchise in all of professional sports, the choice is clear…its the Yankees (I could see the Dodgers as well because of the history and the fact that he grew up a Dodgers fan). If it is just about money, the Mets have a great shot.

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