Where was Roberts when Shohei was 'on a plane to Toronto'? Hear him tell it

February 23rd, 2024

The frenzied Friday of rumors that led to Shohei Ohtani's shockwave-inducing free agency decision was one that will go down in baseball lore. It's one that Dave Roberts, in particular, remembers quite well. In fact, he can tell you exactly where he was and what he was doing when he heard that Ohtani was reportedly on a plane headed for Toronto.

"I was at Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club in San Diego, playing my worst round of golf," Roberts said without skipping a beat when he was asked the question on ESPN's broadcast of the first game of 2024 Spring Training on Thursday afternoon.

The Dodgers skipper had a well-known partner on the links that day, actor Brian Baumgartner, who famously played the lovable accountant Kevin on the American version of "The Office." It's hard to blame Roberts for the rough day on the course; as he admitted, his mind was clearly elsewhere with all the rumors pouring in.

"I was pleading to [Brian] like, 'hey man, I promise I'm a better golfer than I am today. I just got a lot of stuff going on in my mind,'" Roberts said. "So he was laughing and he gave me a mulligan for the day."

Maybe it didn't work out on the golf course for Roberts, but he's probably willing to sacrifice the sub-par round for the ultimate outcome with Ohtani, who announced the following day that he would be joining the Dodgers.

And if you were wondering about Baumgartner's golf game -- the actor has participated in celebrity tournaments and is also known for his basketball skills, both at past NBA All-Star weekends and in a famous episode on the first season of "The Office" -- Roberts was quick to praise him.

"It's a funky swing but he hits it in the fairway, so I'm thinking better golfer," he said.