Shohei Ohtani, one of the best players in the Modern Era, serves as the Angels’ designated hitter and pitcher.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The Los Angeles Angels. The Anaheim Angels; whatever you want to call them, this club has gotten its fanbase into quite a predicament. Arte Moreno, the owner of the Anaheim Angels, has effectively destroyed this franchise, prioritizing immediate success and recognition over long-term success. He wasted the talent of the Greatest Player in the Modern Era: Mike Trout. His plan with Shohei Ohtani only cements this theory; with the two best baseball players on the planet, Trout and Ohtani, and no help around them, it is clear that this organization has no interest in actually winning ball games. Sure, Trout having the greatest Wins Above Placement (WAR) of the Modern Era (by far) might be nice on paper, but there is a reason that this team does not invest in long-term pitching, and instead signs the likes of Albert Pujols, Shohei Ohtani, and Anthony Rendon while ignoring clear gaping holes in their lineup. I might get some flack for saying this, but I truly do not believe this team is designed to win. I genuinely feel that the Angels organization as a whole does not even have a devoted interest in winning the World Series. Sure, they would want to, who wouldn’t? This squad is intentionally designed to be a mediocre playoff exit team. Why won’t they develop pitching in their farm system? Why would they sign Pujols just to have a regular-season playoff exit?
So, yes, I tried. I tried to root for the Angels, but after punching the wall day in and day out for the last seven to eight years, I simply cannot root for this team. When Moreno decided that he was not going to sell the team, that was the moment that I called it quits and threw in the towel. For my own sanity, it just will not happen. Moreno has, in a way, backstabbed the city of Anaheim and all Baseball Fans throughout the country. So, I will be honest, I don’t have much hope for this team. I truly do not believe that this team is designed to win a World Series, and perhaps even worse, I feel that the high levels of the Angels’ management know this. But frankly, why would they care? The revenue that they can pull in from their two superstars, in their eyes, is a greater win than a Championship Ring ever would be; it’s a cruel trade-off, sacrificing the success of your franchise for an immediate buck.
However, not all hope is lost, and through the darkness, there is light. It starts with pitching, though. Regardless of how great Ohtani is, the fact is that baseball is not a one-man sport. It is fundamentally a team sport, which explains why having such a top-heavy lineup as the Angels do is not a sustainable model in the major leagues. If the Angels want to keep Ohtani from heading to Los Angeles or New York, they must fill the glaring holes in their lineup, which, simply put, won’t be easy. Screw you, Arte Moreno.