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It's Still Only June, But Shohei Othani Is Running Away With The AL MVP

I was a real stick in the mud about the Shohei Ohtani stuff for a long time. I just didn’t think that it was sustainable. I didn’t think that it was for real, I thought it was a nice side show but nothing else. We all are wrong sometimes, and I was very, very wrong about this. Even without his pitching prowess, taking that out of the equation, this is still a guy who’s putting up an MVP season offensively. He homers every freaking night and he’s got an OPS over 1.000. The Greatest Sho-man has put on an absolute show of his own in Yankee Stadium over the last two days. O, and he’s got a 2.58 ERA and pitches tonight.

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I know I’m probably one of the last to the party here but I’m just amazed by what this guys is doing. I’m just amazed that this is actually working. Well, let me rephrase that. It’s working for him and it’s working for baseball because he is easily the most talked about player in the sport (though Fernando Tatis Jr. may at some point have something to say about that) but it’s not working for the Los Angeles Angels. It’s working from a business standpoint of course. Othani sells tickets and puts buts in seats, but despite his awesomeness, the Angels still find themselves near the bottom of their division. That is devastating in the same way that it’s devastating how they’ve wasted Mike Trout’s career (so far). Even as a Tigers fan, I shiver at the thought that an organization is in danger of wasting maybe the two greatest talents that baseball has seen in the last 20 years. But I can ignore that for the time being and I think in the long run most people will as well. The Angels inability to build around their stars has no barring on Othani’s greatness. In some ways, it only adds to the legacy. Imagine where they’d be without him.

I was originally going to write a piece about how I think this year‘s American League MVP race was going to be one of the best of recent memory with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Shohei Ohtani battling it out until the end. But over the last couple weeks, my opinion has changed. Assuming everyone stays healthy (please for the love of God and for the sake of baseball, stay healthy Shohei Ohtani) this man is going to run away with the American League MVP, and he should regardless of what his team ends up doing. He is in the midst of a season that we just haven’t seen before, and in a game that has been around for this long, to be doing something that we haven’t seen ever is a testament to just what a special talent Shohei Ohtani is.