Despite Ohtani's impact on the game, ESPN Stephen A. Smith remarked earlier this year that it is harmful to have Ohtani as the face of baseball because he needs an interpreter. Smith drew criticism for his opinion and ended up apologizing. During an episode of the "Holding Kourt Podcast," Justin Turner defended Ohtani and pushed back against the idea he can't be the face of a game that's international: "Awful take.