Shohei Ohtani's first ring with the Dodgers: He announces he's married

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Shohei Ohtani’s life away from the baseball diamond has always been intensely private. About all he’s ever revealed is that he owns a dog named Dekopin, Japanese for Decoy.

Until now. Ohtani posted on Instagram in the middle of the night that he is married. Yes, the two-way superstar has his first ring as a Dodger, and it came as a shock even to the Japanese media horde that covers his every public word, step and swing.

“Not only have I begun a new chapter in my career with the Dodgers but I also have begun a new life with someone from my native country of Japan who is very special to me and I wanted everyone to know I am now married,” he wrote in Japanese.

“I am excited for what is to come and thank you for your support.”

Ohtani, who used Japanese female pronouns in the post, did not identify his wife. No details were offered about when or where a wedding ceremony was held. He said he would conduct an interview Friday.

The news broke in the middle of the night in Los Angeles and in Phoenix, where the Dodgers are conducting spring training, but it was late afternoon in Japan, and the story quickly was broadcast on television. Ohtani had never even divulged that he had a girlfriend.

Dekopin, a Dutch Kooikerhondje, became known to the public when Ohtani held and pet him while discussing winning the American League Most Valuable Player during a televised interview on MLB Network. Ohtani included a photo of the dog on the Instagram marriage announcement and these words: “We hope the two of us — and one animal — will work together.”

Ohtani made his first appearance in a Dodgers uniform Tuesday, hitting a home run in his third at-bat. He signed a 10-year, $700 million contract with the Dodgers this offseason after playing six seasons with the Angels.

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