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The phrase work smarter, not harder seems to be the theme of the Los Angeles Dodgers. They have been praised across Major League Baseball for how they conduct business and their ability to find diamonds in the rough from players that other teams gave up on. Since LA brought in President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman to run the show, things have been great.

Yes, the team would love to have more World Series titles but the way that the organization runs seems to work. Another example of the chess moves that Friedman makes each season is on full display as the Dodgers are ready to welcome their Southern California neighbors into town this coming weekend. 

With the Angels coming to town, all eyes will be on superstar two-way player Shohei Ohtani. It’s well known in the industry that the Dodgers are preparing themselves to make an aggressive run at Ohtani this winter when he becomes a free agent. But the team has pulled out all the stops as they welcome Ohtani to town this weekend.

Dodgers having Japanese heritage night vs the Angels is a Andrew Friedman 5D chess move

— LA Jay ?? (@LAJayshow) July 3, 2023

The Dodgers hosting Japanese Heritage Night while Ohtani is in the building is a sneaky move that is so simple but also so brilliant. Ohtani is said to want comfort wherever he signs this offseason so why not remind him that the city of Los Angeles has a large amount of Japanese culture in it.

Also within this, the team is having Lakers forward Rui Hachimura throwing out the first pitch on the same night. Hachimura is also of Japanese decent and could use this time to recruit Ohtani as well. It’s a classic mess around that the Dodgers have planned to perfection.

Dodgers lining up the athletes for first pitches for Angels series next weekend:

Friday: Caleb Williams (USC)
Saturday: Rui Hachimura (Lakers) – it’s Japanese Heritage Night too.

— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) June 30, 2023

While Ohtani may not be on the mound come Saturday night, he likely will be in the lineup. He will receive cheers and applause all night long from the Dodger fans as they try to show him what his life could be like if he chooses to sign with the boys in blue this winter.

Before the Angels come to town, the Dodgers will play a series against the Pittsburgh Pirates. So while the front office may be looking ahead to the arrival of Ohtani and the Angels, the players themselves need to be focusing on Pittsburgh and taking that series as the team looks to build some consistency on the field.

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