The MLB community of fans and content creators has raised questions about Stephen A. Smith. Specifically about his qualifications to discuss baseball topics as an expert. Smith didn't mince words with his reply.
“Shut the h*ll up,” Smith put it bluntly on his The Stephen A. Smith Show. The talking head asked MLB content creator Fuzzy to pass along his message, after Fuzzy raised concerns about Smith's MLB knowledge. Earlier in the day, Smith weighed in on Shohei Ohtani's impending free agency, and argued that the Los Angeles Angels star is not worth $500 million.
What drew Smith's ire was a critique that Fuzzy offered in response. He started by mentioning that some baseball fans are “on the fence about you and your baseball knowledge.” Fuzzy however did acknowledge that Smith talking about baseball could potentially be a good thing for the sport's profile.
“But the baseball community almost thinks that you kinda speak on feelings,” is how Fuzzy put it. Needless to say, Smith wasn't happy with the criticism.
Smith riled up baseball fans after speaking about Ohtani on ESPN's First Take. Regarding the idea that Ohtani might command a half-billion dollar contract, Smith argued that the dual threat is not worth such a figure.
Smith laid out his reasons to back up his opinion. He argued that Ohtani's inability to pitch in 2024 due to elbow surgery and subsequently being compromised as a fielder are major factors. But more importantly, Smith looked at the state of the Angels and the impact (or lack thereof) that even a superstar like Ohtani can have.
“Damnit, the Angels don't win!,” summed up Stephen A.'s argument. Detailing MLB's new rules that have taken effect in the last couple of seasons and how they allow for teams to win in different ways, Smith said “this dude (Ohtani) hasn't been doing that.”
As evidence that one player can't do it all, Stephen A. Smith pointed to the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves as teams that aren't paying any individual player $500 million.
Smith acknowledged on his show that he is not an aficionado of MLB, but that he grew up watching baseball and knows the sport well enough to weigh in on major news stories such as Ohtani.