Thursday, April 18, 2024

Shōta Imanaga Has Become a Die-Hard Chicago Sports Fan

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After Shōta Imanaga signed with the Chicago Cubs, The Athletic wrote about the pitcher’s free agent process that ultimately led to the Japanese lefty falling in love with the city. On his initial visit to Chicago, before he was even posted by his Japanese team to enter MLB free agency, Imanaga went to a Blackhawks game at the United Center, loved the atmosphere so much that he returned to buy a Michael Jordan Bulls jersey and took a picture next to the basketball legend’s statue.

Via The Athletic.

Shota Imanaga listened to the roar of the crowd during the national anthem, taking in the scene before one of Connor Bedard’s first home games with the Chicago Blackhawks. Imanaga later returned to the United Center to buy a Michael Jordan jersey and take a picture next to the iconic statue.

Imanaga is represented by Octagon that happens to have an office on Michigan Avenue and a network throughout the Chicago area. Thanks to that coincidence, Imanaga had been staying in the Chicago area since Christmas, working out at local facilities and taking calls from other suitors. During his time in the city, the Japanese starting pitcher fell in love with Chicago.

A member of Imanaga’s management group recently posted photos of the pitcher embracing the Chicago sports culture.

Follow our new Twitter account for real-time updates and in-depth analysis of all things Chicago Cubs.

Imanaga has also shared other photos of exploring Chicago and enjoying the great cuisine the city has to offer.

The 30-year-old starting pitcher agreed to a complex deal with the Cubs that includes both player and team options. Ultimately, if Imanaga succeeds in his first few years with the Cubs, he’ll be staying in Chicago for five years, earning $80 million overall.

Imanaga has won over fans in Chicago quicker than any of the recent major free agent additions. He’s shown the love for the city, reportedly turned down more money from another team to sign with the Cubs and at his press conference in January the Japanese pitcher made it a point to address fans in English in his opening statement.

Seeing that Imanaga is all-in to the Chicago sports scene, there is one thing we need to know about him. Justin Fields or Caleb Williams?

Need Shōta getting into days-long debates online, arguing with Bears fans about the future at quarterback.

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Tuan
Feb 2, 2024 10:34 am

Seems like a great guy. He delivers and fans will love him.

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