Chicago Cubs Rumors: Friday got weird in Shohei Ohtani sweeptakes

After it originally being reported that Shohei Ohtani was en route to Toronto in anticipation of signing with the Toronto Blue Jays, the truth was it was a lesson in reporting.

Sep 17, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) sits in
Sep 17, 2023; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Angels two-way player Shohei Ohtani (17) sits in / Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
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Things appeared to be reaching a conclusion on Friday morning regarding Shohei Ohtani's free agency.

Jon Morosi of MLB Network reported on Friday morning that Ohtani's free agency decision was imminent and a decision may arrive as soon as Friday. Internet sleuths went to work after Morosi's report and identified a private flight that was occurring on Friday afternoon from Anaheim, California to Toronto, Canada.

There was even a rumor that Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Yusei Kikuchi made a reservation for 50+ people at a sushi restaurant near Rogers Centre.

Morosi appeared to provide validation to the rumors on social media when he reported through a source that Ohtani was indeed en route to Toronto.

As the readers' context provided in Morosi's post reveals, Ohtani was never en route to Toronto on Friday.

As for who was on the private plane, it was Shark Tank's Robert Herjavec.

The night ended with an apology from Morosi.

There is no doubt that there was damage done to Morosi's credibility on Friday. While he never did report that Ohtani was signing with the Blue Jays, his posting of sourced information including suggesting that Ohtani was on the plane just about walked fans up to the conclusion that the Blue Jays were indeed going to be the team that would be signing the two-way superstar. Fans will likely take much of Morosi's reporting with a grain of salt moving forward but he does deserve credit for owning up to his mistake.

Ohtani's free agency process has tested reporters given the lack of credible information that has leaked. There should be not blame cast upon Ohtani for wanting to keep the process private. That is a right that Ohtani has. Reports need to be better and perhaps we do get official confirmation on where Ohtani signs this weekend but if we don't, that is fine.

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