SEATTLE — Major League Baseball was blessed with the first run of its dreams.
So many surprising teams making playoff runs (who had the Marlins nine games ahead of the Mets?)
Attendance is up 8 percent (yes, up!)
The game time has been cut down to 26 minutes, which is great for those of you who aren’t on time limit as well.
Perhaps to top all of this positive news is the phenomenal performance of two-way superstar Shohei Ohtani, who has the greatest individual season ever played to clinch the MVP award; As a batter, he leads in slugging percentage (.663) and OPS (1.050), and as a pitcher leads in opponent batting average (.189).
The All-Star Game should, by every right, be a celebration of Ohtani’s outstanding play and outstanding play.
Unfortunately, with the way injuries and losses are mounting for Ohtani’s Angels, some of the celebration may be overshadowed by trade speculation regarding the game’s best player.
On Friday, The Post reported that the Angels are starting to move away from their no-sell stance and telling people they will evaluate the situation in the next “two to three weeks,” implying that Ohtani Business can at least become an idea. ,
And earlier on Saturday in their first half finale, they had nine losses in 10 games and fell below .500 for the first time since April.
Logic says Ohtani will have to go, but trading arguably the greatest player of all time is beyond an analytical calculation, and two people who know Angels owner Arte Moreno said Sunday they still don’t believe he will ultimately make that move. Will pull the trigger.
Moreno understands the historical implications.
The obituary of Red Sox owner Harry Farazzi, who sold Babe Ruth to the Yankees, certainly began with one of his most memorable transactions: selling Ruth to the rival Yankees for $120,000, leading to “The Curse of the Bambino”. started.
The good news for Moreno is that nothing he could do—even trading the best all-around player since at least Ruth—could possibly curse the Angels, because They are clearly already cursed.
Also, although I’m no economics expert, the estimate here is that he’ll do better than 120K for Ruth.
Moreno has publicly and privately made clear his reticence towards trading Ohtani.
He told The Post in February that he hoped he could move him, and sources say he expressed his reluctance to do business with Ohtani when his top people asked for him last July. Business possibilities were presented, both forcefully and in a rude manner.
Logic says it was time to trade Ohtani last year, when the Angels were clearly out of it and could offer a two money run to an acquiring team with all-time uber talent.
But here’s even more good news for the Halos: Ohtani’s value, even as a rental, would still be huge.
He’s even better this year, and if he stays in the AL he has a chance to break the actual single-season home run record of 62, set last year by Aaron Judge.
(Even if Otani is traded to a National League team, it’s hard to see him not winning the AL MVP award. The question is whether he’ll have the time to win both awards—though realistically, Ronald Acuña Jr. Have pushed myself far enough to start in the NL.)
Ohtani’s value goes beyond numbers.
The excitement he will bring is huge.
Even better, any acquiring team would gain an important head start in trying to persuade Ohtani to stay for the long term.
(Although the Angels treated him right, allowing him to do his job, his inability to reach the playoffs in all six years probably ruined their chances whether they traded him or not.)
In this year of surprises, almost anyone could be a candidate to get Ohtani in a trade as he only makes $30M, a fraction of what he is actually worth.
But for our purposes, we’ll stick with the teams that have a realistic hope of keeping him, as two months of courtship time is very valuable.
Dodgers: Frazzi compounded his mistake by trading Ruth with a main rival. Would Moreno agree to trade him 45 miles up I-5 to the powerhouse Dodgers? But he certainly has the potential, the means and the ambition.
Yankees: They were one of the teams most aggressively pursuing Ohtani last summer, and the Angels like their prospects. Can be a bit aggressive too.
Mates: GM Billy Epler was the one who signed Ohtani to the Angels. But the acquisition of Ohtani will cost them twice as much because they are already in Steve Cohen tax territory. Their big plan was to build for the long term and their playoff prospects look long.
Giants: They certainly have aspirations of signing Ohtani long term after failing to land a big fish last winter.
Sailor: He was an aggressive follower of Ohtani last time and has potential capital.
Padres: They are in the middle of everything, but their potential ranks have declined since the Juan Soto deal.
Rangers: The clear World Series contender could go in as a favorite.
The speculations begin now.