It’s a tale as old as time itself: the Los Angeles Angels have the best player in baseball on their roster but can’t seem to win any games.
On Sunday, after seven dominant innings at home against the Seattle Mariners in a losing effort, Ohtani expressed frustration at how things were going this year.
“I really like the team,” Ohtani replied when asked about his long-term future with the Angels. “I love the fans, I love the atmosphere of the team, but more than that, I want to win. That’s the biggest thing for me. I’ll leave it at that.”
The Angels are currently 74-83. They will miss the playoffs this season after having missed the postseason 11 times in the last 12 years. Despite having Mike Trout for pretty much the entirety of that run, the organization has simply been unable to put a successful product out. And history seems to be repeating itself with Ohtani, who is batting .258/.371/.595 with 45 home runs and 24 stolen bases.
On Tuesday night, manager Joe Maddon addressed Ohtani’s recent comments.
“We all feel the same way — we all want to win,” Maddon said. “If anybody misconstrues that as though he wants to leave, that’s trying to connect some dots that weren’t necessarily what he, not at all what he said.
“He also mentioned how much he loves it here. The inner sanctum of the clubhouse, the guys, the coaching staff, everything about it. The area. The fans. He loves them all. We all want to get to the next level, and we see it as an absolute possibility it’s going to happen here in the very near future.”
Maddon can put whatever spin on the situation he wants, obviously, but the facts remain the same. This team has had a losing record for six years in a row now and have failed to make the postseason over the course of seven consecutive years. Four of those years have included Ohtani.
The Bucks owner’s daughter decided to bring 2021 in with a bang by stripping all her clothes off. https://t.co/UgzhEEna4o
— Game 7 (@game7__) January 7, 2021
It’s clear as day that if you’re a star, and you want to win, this isn’t the group to do it with.
Obviously every franchise has its problems. The San Diego Padres have to deal with Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado hating each other. And of course the LA Dodgers’ recent drama spoke for itself. But the Angels really need to get it together. Because if they don’t, they risk losing out on a generational talent.