Back in September, as Hiroshi Sasaki told stories about Shohei Ohtani in a visitor’s room at Hanamaki Higashi High School, the longtime baseball coach paused to ask a question of his own. Would Ohtani be criticized for trying to play both ways in the major leagues? Sasaki, who coached Ohtani in high school, remains a trusted confidant and advisor to the two-way star. I explained to Sasaki about baseball’s place in our sporting landscape, about the shortage of personalities and marketable stars. I told him Ohtani’s efforts would be embraced. Well, at least initially. I understood Sasaki’s concern. From a distance, particularly from overseas, what Ohtani does looks effortless, throwing 100 mph fastballs one day and literally launching baseballs through the roof of an indoor stadium on another. Except this didn’t happen overnight. Ohtani spent multiple seasons molding himself into an effective two-way player. What if similar time is required for Ohtani to adjust to the major leagues? That concern has to be on Ohtani’s mind as he decides on a major league team. Ohtani narrowed down the field of his possible destinations Monday, with the Dodgers and Angels making the short list of teams that will meet with Ohtani this week. The San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, San Francisco Giants, Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs also remain in the mix. The Yankees and the Red Sox are out. This shouldn’t have been a surprise. If Ohtani has made anything clear during this process, it’s that he wants to continue to pitch and hit. Dylan Hernandez Shohei Ohtani is Japan's biggest baseball star, a physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds who at 23 years old is a pitcher and hitter. The Dodgers are among the MLB teams interested in him. Shohei Ohtani is Japan's biggest baseball star, a physical specimen at 6-foot-4 and 215 pounds who at 23 years old is a pitcher and hitter. The Dodgers are among the MLB teams interested in him. (Dylan Hernandez) As much standing around as there is in baseball, playing both ways is physically demanding, even with a designated-hitter rule in effect. The simple task of figuring out a schedule could take months, if not years. Ohtani’s team in Japan, the