I've said for years that I'd love it if the Los Angeles of Anaheim (Based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire) made the playoffs with Trout and Ohtani. But yesterday, as I was staring up at the ceiling in a catatonic state following the Tigers no-hitter, I realized something- I don't give a shit if the Angels make the playoffs. Most of baseball doesn't care, either. Would it have been nice if the Angels would've found a way to make the postseason at some point with the two best players of a generation? Yeah, it would've been neat in previous years. But it's 2023. Mike Trout is injured, and while Ohtani remains the best individual show in sports, the rest of the Los Angeles Angels are just a boring crew. It's been that way for a while, and for the sake of the sports, I hope they bottom out over the next few weeks and trade Shohei Ohtani.
When you were growing up, there was always that one spoiled kid that played with the cool toy for way too long. Did anyone else have that problem? Okay, maybe I just had to deal with that, but that's what the Los Angeles Angels are to me. You've had the cool toys for too long. Give someone else a try. Shohei Ohtani will be a one-man show wherever he goes, but him being on the Angels in the second half of 2023 would be the most boring fate possible. It would be for half a season, but Ohtani on the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Diamondbacks, or any other team would be way more interesting. Even if the Angels have some miracle turnaround, what's their ceiling? Another winless playoff appearance. Does that move the needle for anyone? It didn't in 2014. It wouldn't in 2023.
I understand the hesitation that the Angels would have regarding trading Ohtani. What could you get back in return that could match his value? At this point, does it really matter? Obviously, you want the best return possible, but Trout is injured, and Ohtani will walk in free agency. You're likely going to miss the playoffs (again). If you cared about getting a good return back, you would've traded him at any point over the last calendar year when everyone knew this would never last. It's the same arc every season. Angels will pique your interest for the first 75 games, only for things to fall apart. Mike Trout being injured sucks, but Mike Trout decided to stay in Los Angeles. He signed that extension. Now, I'd argue he signed that extension assuming the Angels would build SOMETHING around him that could compete in that division. Sadly, because of that contract, Mike Trout is now tethered to the Angels for life. Ohtani will not have to suffer such a fate, and considering he's in the midst of maybe the most impressive individual season we've ever seen, him FINALLY being on a contending team down the stretch would be electric.
I speak for all baseball fans when I say that we are tired of seeing Ohtani hit 430-foot home runs when the Angels are losing 9-3. The Angels don't owe anything to anyone. I'm speaking here selfishly as a baseball fan that wants to see Ohtani playing deep into October. He will never do that as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. Ohtani is aware of that, which is why he'll be hitting the free-agent market after this season and likely signing with another team. We can wait it out, but how long can Ohtani do this? He'll be around for a long time, but the idea of him being a top-10 hitter and pitcher in baseball will have a short shelf life. The Angels had their chance. It was no fault of his own, but it didn't work. Give something else a try. It likely won't happen, but it sure would be fun.