Ohtani: 2021 season was rewarding and fun

Major League Baseball superstar Ohtani Shohei is looking back the just-ended season by expressing a sense of fulfillment over his illustrious feats as a two-way sensation.

The 27-year-old Los Angeles Angels pitcher and slugger became the sixth MLB player to bat 45 homeruns with 25 stolen bases. He also chalked up nine wins with 156 strikeouts as a pitcher.

The Japan-born player spoke at a news conference ahead of his team's last game of the season on Sunday.

Ohtani said this season was rewarding and fun because he was able to play in more games than in previous MLB seasons.

Ohtani said that this year he did not have any particular period when he felt fatigue. He said he took care to help his body recover to avoid being sidelined.

Ohtani said he is happy to get through this season without any injuries. But reflecting on his struggles with injuries during his first three MLB years, he said he wishes he could have had injury-free seasons much earlier.

Ohtani gained plaudits after being seen picking up trash on the field that could cause some players to trip and fall on bench stairs. He said he doesn't want himself to get hurt in such a trivial way, nor does he want others to get hurt that way, either.

Ohtani said he will return to Japan after spending several more weeks in the US, and wants to increase his training workload during the upcoming offseason.

Ohtani said he has a lot of areas that need improvement, and will try to perform better next season. He added he will have more opportunities to play in games if he can steadily turn out good performances.