Shohei Ohtani could've signed with any team in Major League Baseball. He chose the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, which...seems like a weird choice. The Angels couldn't offer the most money (Mariners), weren't the best team (Dodgers), and don't have a strong connection to Japanese players and culture (Mariners/Rangers).
This makes it so interesting why Ohtani would choose to sign in Anaheim. We'll never really know why he did, but I have a theory. Playing in Anaheim means the spotlight won't be as bright as it could've been elsewhere, and the 23-year-old superstar is attempting to do something nobody has really ever done before.
Had Ohtani signed in New York or Boston the pressure would've been immense. If he had a few bad starts in a row or struggled at the plate, the whole experiment of him playing two ways would hit an incredibly bumpy patch. Remember, playing two ways in Major League Baseball is something Ohtani desperately wants to do. He wants to do it right now, which is why he came over for the 2018 season as opposed to waiting two years and signing for $200 million.
So yeah, if he had gone to New York and succeeded he would've set the baseball world on fire. Think Linsanity crossed with Tebow Mania crossed with Aaron Judge's first half. The only problem would've been the media and expectations. It turns out Ohtani was right in not choosing New York. Here is a NY Daily News headline the day after he announced he wasn't going to the Bronx:
Now imagine if he had gone there (Or Boston) and started with an 0-15 stretch at the plate. Things could've gone south really quickly. Instead, he'll be in Anaheim. Things will be more relaxed. Ohtani will be a rookie next year. He's going to be in a country he's never lived in before trying to do something athletically that nobody has pulled off since George Herman Ruth.
Anaheim gives him a chance to develop. I don't know what set the Angels apart from the Padres or other west coast teams (and really we may never know), but Ohtani's development took precedent here. Don't worry about the marketing side of things if you're a baseball fan. If he's the real deal then MLB will let you know. It'll be good for baseball if Shohei Ohtani is good and playing two ways. Anaheim gives him a great chance to eventually get there, even if it means working out the kinks along the way. Oh, and he'll be playing with some guy named Mike Trout. Should be fun to watch.