Dodgers bat boy on saving Shohei Ohtani from line drive: 'Just doing my job'

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Javier Herrera set the snooze alarm on his 15 minutes of fame, the Dodgers bat boy soaking up the spotlight for one more day in the wake of his Shohei Ohtani-saving catch of a blistering line drive off the bat of Kiké Hernández during Wednesday night’s 4-0 win over the White Sox in Chicago.

About two dozen reporters from Japanese and Southern California-based news outlets surrounded Herrera, 38, as he conducted an interview with SportsNet LA in the tunnel below the team’s Oracle Park dugout before Friday night’s series opener against the San Francisco Giants.

How did it feel to shield the Dodgers’ $700-million man, a two-time American League most valuable player and one of baseball’s best all-around players, from potential harm when he made a bare-handed catch of a drive that appeared headed for Ohtani’s head?

“I don’t know,” a reluctant Herrera said. “I was just doing my job.”

Asked about his quick reaction time, Herrera, who is in his 18th year with the club, said, “I saw the pitch all the way through. It hit the bat, and the ball pretty much found me. I was able to grab it.”

Did it hurt?

“Not at all,” Herrera said.

Does Herrera have the softest hands of any clubhouse attendant in the league?

“We use a lot of lotion,” he said.

What did Ohtani, who was walking behind Herrera toward the bat rack and did not even see the ball coming toward the dugout, say to him?

“He said, ‘Thank you,’ ” Herrera said, “and I said, ‘I told you, I have your back.’ ”

And what about the rumors that Ohtani, who famously gifted reliever Joe Kelly’s wife a Porsche for relinquishing No. 17 to the two-way star, was going to buy Herrera a Porsche?

“Nope,” Herrera said. “These are all just rumors.”

Herrera said he did not realize the clip of his catch had gone viral until later Wednesday night, when a friend sent him the video.

“I saw it 100 times,” Herrera said. “It was pretty impressive. I was impressed. But in the moment, it was just like, ‘OK, let’s keep playing.’ ”

Ohtani posted a video clip of Herrera’s interview Friday to his Instagram account and wrote, “My hero!!”

Herrera also earned praise from manager Dave Roberts.

“Yeah, he needs a contract extension, a raise,” Roberts said. “I was obviously right next to him, but I didn’t appreciate how close it was, you know, going towards Shohei. And what a great play it was. So, very quick reaction from Javy, and very grateful.”

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