The regular season for Shohei Ohtani was another marker of personal success, but the Los Angeles Angels missed the playoffs and another chance to compete with one of, if not the best player in the sport.
Major League Baseball and its fans have witnessed a true breakout of a modern-day Babe Ruth, and by many accounts from players around the game, Ohtani is the best to ever do it. The 2021 Most Valuable Player certainly has played his way into that conversation with another repeat performance this season.
After reaching the qualifying mark for pitchers in his final start of the season, Ohtani slotted himself at fourth on the leaderboards with a 2.33 ERA in 166 innings. But his play wasn’t enough to carry the Angels through their organizational turmoil and a myriad of injuries that caused lineup shuffling all season, via Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com:
“I feel like I had a good season this year, probably better than last year, overall,” Ohtani said. “But I would like to be in the playoffs and this is supposed to be the starting line. Unfortunately that’s not the case this year, but hopefully it is next year.”
The Angels haven’t made the playoffs with two of the best players to ever play in MLB, and as unbelievable as it sounds, it falls in line with the failures they’ve amounted in the two decades since their last World Series appearance.
Ohtani followed up his MVP season with a 15-9 record and a 2.33 ERA over 166 innings, with 219 strikeouts and 44 walks. At the plate, Ohtani hit .273 with 34 home runs, 95 RBIs, and a .875 on-base plus slugging, and Mike Trout highlighted how incredible his teammate’s ability should be on the game’s biggest stage.
“He’s unbelievable,” said fellow superstar Mike Trout, who hit his 40th homer of the year (and the 350th of his career) in Wednesday’s season finale. “I mean, it’s amazing. We’re fortunate enough to see it every day. I don’t think we’ll ever see this again.”
The Angels feel as if they’re in a truly unprecedented spot, considering they aren’t a team without stars, which they have multiple, and they aren’t a team without money, because they have displayed a willingness to shell it out. But what they lack is a unified approach within their organization that is committed to a playoff goal each and every season.
Shohei Ohtani inks one-year deal; Perry Minasian won’t provide details on long-term contract
Minasian has found himself in one of the most difficult positions in all of Major League Baseball, perhaps all of sports, with the expiring contract of Ohtani and if he fits into the franchise’s future.
With one year of arbitration remaining on his initial contract, Minasian and Ohtani were able to agree on a one-year $30 million contract which allows him and the Angels to move ahead with other aspects of their team for the time being.
With just one season in the playoffs with Trout in an Angels uniform, Minasian must find a way to keep Ohtani with the team long-term.
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