Shohei Ohtani has ‘negative impression’ of season as Angels’ struggles continue, despite stellar year

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Shoehi Ohtani is arguably MLB’s best talent, doing things on the baseball diamond not seen since the days of Babe Ruth. 

Ohtani, fresh off winning the American League MVP in 2021, had another incredible season, batting .273 with 34 home runs and 94 RBIs while going 15-9 with a 2.33 ERA on the mound. 

Shohei Ohtani, #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on Oct. 05, 2022 in Oakland, California. 

Shohei Ohtani, #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, pitches against the Oakland Athletics in the bottom of the first inning at RingCentral Coliseum on Oct. 05, 2022 in Oakland, California. 
(Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

Despite Ohtani’s eye-popping numbers, the Los Angeles Angels again struggled, missing the playoffs for the eighth consecutive season while finishing below .500 for the 7th straight year. 

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Upon arriving back in Tokyo following the end of the baseball season, Ohtani said that while he personally had a good year, the Angels’ struggles left a sour taste in his mouth. 

“I have to say that August and September in particular felt longer to me than last year,” Ohtani said, speaking in Japanese, according to ESPN. “We were not able to play as many good games as we would like – including 14 consecutive losses. So I have a rather negative impression of this season.”

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Los Angeles got off to a hot start to the 2022 season, going 24-13 to start the year. 

Los Angeles Angels interim manager Phil Nevin, left, and Shohei Ohtani stand in the dugout during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Cleveland. 

Los Angeles Angels interim manager Phil Nevin, left, and Shohei Ohtani stand in the dugout during the first inning of the team’s baseball game against the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022, in Cleveland. 
(AP Photo/David Dermer)

However, the Angels went into a free fall at the end of May, losing 14 consecutive games, then firing manager Joe Maddon in early June. Los Angeles finished the season 73-89, 33 games behind the Houston Astros in the AL West. 

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Interim manager Phil Nevin was given a one-year deal for the 2023 season with the Angels, rewarding the former third-base coach for going 46-59 after taking over for Maddon. 

Shohei Ohtani, #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, looks on during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on Oct. 04, 2022 in Oakland, California. 

Shohei Ohtani, #17 of the Los Angeles Angels, looks on during the game against the Oakland Athletics at RingCentral Coliseum on Oct. 04, 2022 in Oakland, California. 
( Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

However, the one-year deal leaves things up in the air for the future of the organization, as does Ohtani’s contract situation. 

Ohtani and the Angels agreed to a one-year, $30 million contract for the 2023 season, avoiding arbitration. Ohtani will be a free agent after the 2023 season as his future with the organization remains somewhat murky. 

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