Someone on Major League Baseball’s social media crew tweeted and then quickly deleted a joke Friday night comparing an image of Ichiro and Shohei Ohtani greeting each other to a meme showing two cartoon Spider-Men pointing at each other in mutual recognition and surprise:
Here’s the meme image:
The tweet lived on the internet for all of 15 minutes, before someone at MLB noticed that the joke they’d made can be boiled all the way down to Asian men look the same. Ichiro is 20 years older than Ohtani; he made his MLB debut 17 years earlier; he plays a different position; Ohtani is five inches taller and something like 30 pounds heavier; where Ohtani is a slugger, Ichiro has always been a high-volume contact hitter. But they’re both Japanese, and they both play baseball! My God it’s like they’re the same person.