Shohei Ohtani had arguably one of the best seasons of his career in 2022. He posted a career high 15-9 record and 2.33 ERA. It was a monster year for the superstar as well, as he hit .273 with 34 home runs.
All signs pointed to another MVP year, but then Aaron Judge came in and broke the American League single-season record. His 62 home runs surpassed Roger Maris, who broke the record in 1961.
Apparently, Ohtani was upset about the MVP. He thought he had a far better season than Judge, with him being great both at the plate and on the mound.
“Shohei Ohtani was not happy he didn’t win the MVP,” Los Angeles Angels manager Phil Nevin said.
The MVP race couldn’t have been closer last year. Both Shohei Ohtani and Aaron Judge more than deserved to win the award with the seasons they had in 2022.
Playing for the Los Angeles Angels may have played a role in the MVP vote. While it shouldn’t matter which team you play for, Judge carried a New York Yankees team that was viewed as a contender.
Does this light a fire under Shohei Ohtani?
Keep an eye on Ohtani this upcoming season. Not only is he coming off a year where he was snubbed as an MVP, but he’s also in the final year of his contract. Every team in the league will try to find a way to sign Ohtani.
As we’ve seen in the past, athletes tend to perform better when facing a contract year. It’s unclear how Ohtani can play better than he has in the past, but no one should question it.
While the Angels will have a chance to re-sign him, it doesn’t seem likely. In five years in the league, he has never been to the postseason. It’s not good for the league to have one of its best players consistently miss the postseason. It would be better for the game to have Ohtani on a competitive team.
It will be interesting to see what happens with Shohei Ohtani this season. Will MVP snub a better performance? Will this be his last year in an Angels uniform?
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