In a rare outburst of anger.
When Fletcher flied out to first in the bottom of the seventh inning, Shohei Ohtani (27) of the Angels, who had not been called upon to bat, slammed his bat down on the bench in frustration.
“It’s no wonder Otani is angry. He was expected to become the first player since Babe Ruth in 1918 to achieve double-digit wins and double-digit home runs. In the midst of all the attention, Ohtani pitched well, allowing one run on five hits in seven innings. However, his teammates’ batting line was held to zero runs, and he missed his first accomplishment in 103 years. I’m sure Otani’s real feeling was, ‘Give me a little support,'” said a reporter for a sports paper.
At the post-game press conference, he calmly expressed his dissatisfaction with the team.
“Of course I like the fans and the atmosphere. But I want to win more than that. As a player, I think that’s the right thing to do.
This comment caused a stir: CBS Sports reported, “Ohtani stressed that the element of winning will influence his decision (to stay with the Angels). It was also seen on the Internet as a “hint of a departure” comment, saying, “I think he’s going to leave the Angels. Otani also said, “I do feel frustrated.
I’m frustrated,” he said. I’m still frustrated. I want to have a more fun and exciting September (with a postseason berth on the line). I hope the clubhouse will be full of those conversations.
5.5 Billion Yen Annual Salary
The Angels were doing well this season, with a winning percentage of 50% until the summer. However, the departure of key hitters such as Trout and Rendon caused them to stall in the second half. Their dream of advancing to the postseason was cut short. The Angels now have none of the winning factors that Ohtani hopes for.
If that’s the case, a move to a stronger team will become a reality for Ohtani. Is there really any chance of that happening? Nachi Tomonari, a sports journalist who is familiar with the situation in the majors, said.
“I don’t think he’ll move right away. It is said that Otani signed a two-year contract with the Angels in February of this year for an annual salary of approximately 890 million yen. However, there is a very good chance that he will leave the team in the 2011 off season when he gets his FA rights. Otani is currently the biggest star in the majors. It will be a big battle for him, with a multi-year contract at an annual salary of around 5.5 billion.
Which team will be the favorite to acquire him? Tomonari continues.
“I’m sure he’ll be able to do both. But if he keeps pitching and hitting, the risk of injury will naturally increase. If he hurts his shoulder and decides to concentrate on hitting, the Yankees, with their financial strength, will be his first choice. The Yankees don’t seem to approve of the two-way strategy, but most of their hitting lineup is right-handed hitters. The Yankees don’t seem to approve of the two-pronged approach, but their lineup is dominated by right-handed hitters, and they would love to have a left-handed hitter like Ohtani.
I’m not sure if I’m going to be able to do that,” he said.
“I’m not sure if it’s a good idea, but it’s a good idea. But when you consider the fact that Ohtani will need to recover from fatigue when he plays with a batter, he will need six days in the middle. In line with that, there will be six starting pitchers. There is only one team that had the same shift in place. It is the Mariners, who had the same six-day rotation until this August.
The Mariners are a team that is very understanding of Japanese players, with Ichiro and Masahiro Sasaki having been with them in the past. One of the conditions for Ohtani to join the Mariners was that there were no Japanese players. The Mariners currently have Yusei Kikuchi. However, Kikuchi had a good first half this season, but in the second half he was a wreck with a 1-6 record. His earned run average is also around 5 points every year, and he has not gained the trust of the leaders. He will be released by the time Ohtani gets his FA rights in 2011. This is the ideal team for Ohtani. This is the ideal team for Ohtani.
Even with a team that doesn’t win, Ohtani has become the axis of pitching and hitting. If he decides to move to a strong team, he may be able to play even better.
Photo： Kyodo News