Every morning for the past six years, no matter how early Los Angeles Angels players and staff members got to Tempe Diablo Stadium, they saw a throng of Japanese photojournalists standing on Tempe Butte, which overlooks the team’s spring training complex. This was not a sunrise hike. Every camera was zoomed in, waiting for the arrival of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani.

While spring training means early mornings for players, coaches and reporters, those assigned exclusively to Ohtani made everyone else think twice about complaining about their alarms. Ohtani Watch started at 5 a.m., when most of the Cactus League was still asleep. There were no weekends off and no wiggle room: Everyone was after that one shot, every day, for the entire six weeks of camp.

"Good luck beating them here,” third baseman Anthony Rendon said of a group that routinely included 50 reporters.