After the Los Angeles Angels’ two biggest superstars spoke out about a frustrating 2021 season and the desire to see the team get better, manager Joe Maddon and general manager Perry Minasian said they are eager to see improvements as well.
On Saturday, while saying he won’t try to play again this season after he strained his right calf in May, three-time MVP Mike Trout said the franchise is headed toward an important offseason after six consecutive losing seasons.
One day later, after possibly making his last appearance as a pitcher this season, American League MVP favorite Shohei Ohtani said he was frustrated over the lack of team success.
“I appreciate what they said,” Minasian said Tuesday at Texas in advance of the team’s second-to-last series of the season. “I liked the fact that, obviously, Mike and Sho, they want to win. Those aren’t the only two players that want to win. There’s plenty of guys on this team currently, and I’m sure if you ask any player on any team, would say the same thing.”
Trout last played on May 17 and started the rehab process on his calf multiple times, but ultimately decided it would be best to wait until next spring training to get going again.
“This offseason is going to be big,” Trout said this past weekend. “We have a lot of money to spend. Hopefully we go out there, get some good guys. I trust Perry, I trust the top guys in this organization. We talk every day. I’m very confident with the group up there. They’re working hard every day. They’re trying to put a winning team on the field.”
Said Ohtani on Sunday, through a team translator: “It’s very frustrating. It’s very disappointing. I always look forward to being in the playoff race at the end.”
Ohtani added that he likes the team, the fans and the atmosphere around the team but that he wants to win.
“We all feel the same way,” Maddon said Tuesday about Ohtani’s comments. “We all want to win. And I think anybody who misconstrues that as though he wants to leave, that’s trying to connect some dots that were not at all what he has said.”
The Angels are 74-82 this season and will miss the playoffs for a seventh consecutive season. Trout has played in just three playoff games, all defeats to the Kansas City Royals in 2014, despite being widely considered the best player in the game.
“We have an ownership group that has shown a commitment to doing what they need to do to make this team as good as it can be,” Minasian said. “And I don’t think that’s going to change.”
–Field Level Media