The front lines of the MLB offseason have been quiet, but this is what’s to be expected with a free agent field bolstered with talent. Every team is waiting for one particular move to be made, one franchise-altering decision to finally be announced. If you follow baseball then you undoubtedly already know this and have been waiting patiently for the news to break. You understand this player’s unique set of skills and abilities. He’s the unicorn that’s been shackled in the land of Anaheim, playing for a dysfunctional franchise the likes of which Colorado fans are very familiar with.
Shohei Ohtani will most likely be moving on from the Los Angeles Angels, barring a miracle or a dramatic change of heart by Ohtani’s camp (a record-breaking deal even more ridiculous than what many have speculated his new contract will be). The rumors have been swirling as the decision nears, and these discussions consistently steer him towards one of a handful of teams: Angels, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mariners, Padres, and the reigning World Series champion Texas Rangers.
Besides the Angels and technically the Mariners, these teams’ rosters are already filled with a tremendous amount of talent, and the price tag attached to Ohtani will affect every team in whatever league he decides to call home.
Do these clubs really need a player like Ohtani? Why do good things happen to bad people?
The Ohtani Sweepstakes becoming a reality is not entirely the Angels fault. The Los Angeles Angels did what mismanaged teams tend to do when they have an insane talent in their grasp, which is completely waste some prime years of their career and ultimately let said generational, future hall-of-fame talent, fall through their grasps because one player can’t fix the issues that go on at the multiple internal levels of a professional sports team. Dysfunction reigns supreme within bad teams. It’s not just on the field, but from top to bottom: owners, management, staff, and players. Still, the Angels deserve all the criticism they’ve brought upon themselves if Ohtani leaves to join a new club, and this criticism should come from every other fanbase as well, because now new teams will have to deal with Ohtani for more than three games a year.
So, when will this cold war being waged between Ohtani’s camp and every MLB team who wants a chance to give him half of a team’s payroll, end? And are there still a few dark horses in the race for Ohtani that nobody has yet considered?
Well, let me be the first to introduce the newest Colorado Rockie, Shohei Ohtani!
No, not really. But that would be pretty cool, right? The Rockies are among a handful of teams that shouldn’t even be mentioned alongside Shohei Ohtani’s name for a multitude of reasons, beginning with the fact that the Rockies are nearly as dysfunctional as the Angels are and that they’re also nowhere close to being a contender.
With all of that in mind, the biggest difference between the Rockies and the Angels is that the Rockies have never managed to fumble a golden gift from God like the Angels have with Shohei Ohtani, mainly because there has never been a player like Shohei Ohtani on the Colorado Rockies, let alone one who has played baseball.
While Ohtani will not be able to throw from the mound during the upcoming 2024 season due to the procedure he had on his UCL, he will still be able to hit, and his statistics at the plate are just as ridiculous as his stats from the mound. And I want to reiterate that no other player in the sport can do this. There is literally nobody else like Shohei. He’s constantly replicating feats that have not been accomplished since the likes of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and everyone’s all-time favorite, Tungsten Arm O’Doyle. I could rattle off an endless stream of statistics that showcase his absurd numbers and how he ranks above so many players from multiple positions, but Shohei will still be Shohei. It’s needless to say that he is an anomaly, a great white buffalo, something so many want but will never be able to get their greedy hands on.
Still, only one man can carry a team so far. While the Angels had both Ohtani and Mike Trout on the roster, they never managed to go above a .500 record, coming close but not quite in 2018 with a record of 80-82, Ohtani’s first year in the MLB. So maybe it’s part dysfunction within the Angels organization and part desire to play for a team that is in contention when October arrives that’s made Ohtani elect free agency. Needless to say, having someone the likes of Ohtani walk away from your organization won’t be something the Angels and Angels fans will be able to recover from easily.
But, will the supposed $600 million dollar man be worth it, especially when he is coming off an injury that assures he will not pitch from the mound until 2025?
Having the highest payroll in the MLB does not assure a World Series title. It certainly helps. Last season, the Texas Rangers won it all with a payroll that ranked fourth out of the entire league. The team they played against in the World Series, the Arizona Diamondbacks, were ranked 21st.
Baseball is more complicated than a numbers game, and at the same time it’s incredibly simple. With as many groundbreaking statistics as Ohtani produces, he is still just one man out of nine who get to go to the plate and one of 26 total players on the active roster.
The truth is, winning the Ohtani sweepstakes will not assure a World Series, but it will certainly help. And while there are a handful of contenders who have a realistic chance of landing Ohtani, I believe there should still be a morsel of hope for those terrible and mismanaged ball clubs around the MLB that they could get Ohtani, that somehow they will dig up enough money to pay him what he demands, and put enough decent players around him to be somewhat competitive. It’s fun to think about, and while the Rockies would surely destroy Ohtani in multiple ways if they were ever to get him, seeing him mash at Coors Field for the short stint he’d spend here before moving on would be worth every penny.
Here’s some ways the Rockies could hypothetically get Shohei Ohtani to put on the purple pinstripes.
And, yes, of course it’s totally realistic.
1. Hurl The Undesirables Into The Sun
I’m talking about everyone on the field and within the Rockies organization that could somehow be detrimental to Shohei’s livelihood during his hypothetical tenure here. So, naturally, this includes the Monfort Brothers, Bill Schmidt, Kris Bryant, really anyone who could hurt him off the field via poor ownership and management, or on the field as well, vicariously through Kris Bryant’s walking plague of injuries and uselessness. Once these guys are gone, Shohei will be free from any sort of harm.
2. Find More Money... A Lot More
Clearly, the Rockies can’t afford Ohtani’s pricetag, so we will have to conjure up some outside funding to support our cause. The Rockies have many corporate sponsorships that pay tremendously—Coors Brewing being the largest—but there have to be some other chumps out there who would pay a lot to have their name or brand associated with a MLB team. I’m thinking we sellout and let Amazon or Apple pay some of our bills. Apple Field doesn’t sound… horrible? Elon Musk has a lot of money and he’s a narcissist. Musk Field Powered by X is something I could live with as long as Shohei’s playing for us.
3. Sell Our Souls To The Devil
Plenty of people forget that you can get a lot in life if you simply sacrifice something to the devil. Rockies fans need to unite and make this happen. Satan will do many things for the right price, so if Rockies fans can unite and collectively sell our souls to the Antichrist, then we might have a real shot at landing Ohtani. Of course, the questions should be asked, why not sell our souls to the devil for a World Series instead of Ohtani? And the answer to that, you beautiful innocent idiot, is that not even the devil himself, with all of his powers of the underworld, could make that a reality. Ohtani is just too far out of our reach, unless we utilize powers beyond the control of man to make it a reality.
With Ohtani’s decision looming, it’s still accurate to say the Rockies aren’t completely out of the race just yet. When Ohtani eventually picks a new home or returns to the desolate land of Anaheim within the next week (my prediction), there will be ripple effects felt by every team, mostly in the negatives. But it’s perfectly fine to hold out hope as a Rockies fan for someone like Ohtani to land here, with us, even though there was barely any trace of hope to begin with.