shohei ohtani
Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Shohei Ohtani’s at-bat against funky Yankees reliever Nestor Cortes reminds us why baseball can be so much fun.

Forget about the fact that Shohei Ohtani is the frontrunner for the MVP in the American League. Don’t worry about Ohtani’s two home runs earlier in this game. Just watch New York Yankees reliever Nestor Cortes induce a (very deep) pop out in a hilarious at-bat against Ohtani.

Cortes is one of the funkiest pitchers in baseball. The lefty doesn’t have a ton of velocity, but he makes up for it in other ways. His favorite way to throw off batters is by varying his pitch times to ridiculous levels.

This at-bat against Ohtani is the best example of Cortes and his antics on the mound. First, he takes so long that the ump grants Ohtani a timeout mid-wind up. Next, Cortes tries to pitch the ball quicker than anyone in history. Finally, he finishes Ohtani off with some side-arm action.

Beautiful. Ohtani and Cortes are having fun out there and this is what baseball is all about.

The Angels’ hybrid hitter-pitcher is putting together one of the all-time great seasons in MLB history. He added two more dingers off of Jameson Taillon on Tuesday to push his MLB-leading tally up to 28 for the season.

Oh yeah, did we mention that he has a 2.58 ERA in 11 starts this season? Most living people have never seen a player dominate as a hitter and a pitcher (Jacob deGrom doesn’t count). Ohtani is the most interesting man in baseball and he’s pitching (and hitting) against the Yankees on Wednesday.

For what it’s worth, Nestor Cortes is undergoing a rebirth in his second stint with the Yankees. Although he hasn’t been seeing a ton of action in high-leverage situations, his ERA is down to 1.02 after his three strikeouts in 1.2 innings of work.