MIAMI — I am a lifelong New York Yankees fan. But above that, I am a baseball fan and one of my biggest pet peeves regarding the current state of baseball is not the pitch clock or the shift ban. It isn’t even the ghost runner on second in extra innings. My biggest baseball-related pet peeve is the fact that Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani are being wasted on the Los Angeles Angels.
Now, when I say wasted, I mean that Mike Trout has been in the postseason once and it was nearly 10 years ago when the Angels were swept out of the division series by the Kansas City Royals. And poor Shohei Ohtani has never even sniffed the playoffs as a member of the Angels. Because of this, the only time you usually get to see two of the best players to ever put on an MLB uniform is in the All-Star game. Until now.
After a thrilling come-from-behind victory by Team Japan over Team Mexico in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic on Monday night in Miami, the final is now set between Team Japan and Team USA which means that It took until March 21, 2023, for Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout to play meaningful baseball together in a game that will be watched by millions of people.
Ohtani played a big role in Japan’s ninth-inning comeback, leading off the inning with a double. And Trout, after sitting out of the WBC in 2017, has reached the finals with Team USA.
As a Yankee fan, I have a different perspective from the hosts of Locked On Angels, Jon, and Mike Frisch, who are beside themselves with giddiness over Ohtani and Trout making the WBC finals. They’re happy about it finally happening and while I am also happy about it, I am just as annoyed that it took so long.
“It could only be Team Japan versus Team USA," Jon Frisch said on the Locked On Angels podcast. "It was destiny. It was the baseball gods smiling down upon all of us. And the rest of the baseball world is getting blessed with what we get to see every day during the season and that is Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani.”
Both Mike and Jon joked about a potential Mike Trout-Shohei Ohtani batter vs. pitcher matchup in the final with Mike saying he thinks Trout would walk. But wouldn’t that be something? With the way this tournament has played out so far, an Ohtani-Trout matchup is definitely a possibility.
Coming into the finals, Team Japan is undefeated whereas Team USA was walloped by Team Mexico in pool play. So will Team Japan remain undefeated and capture their third WBC title overall or will Team USA win their second in a row? Tune in on Tuesday night to find out. And tune in to finally see Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani on a national stage where they belong.
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