MLB

Ohtani didn't say he wants to leave Angels – Maddon

By Sports Desk September 28, 2021

Los Angeles Angels manager Joe Maddon said two-way star Shohei Ohtani did not mean he wants to leave the MLB franchise.

Ohtani will become a free agent after the 2023 season and he sparked question marks over his future, having insisted his top priority is winning following another losing campaign in Los Angeles.

An American League (AL) MVP frontrunner with 45 homers and a 3.18 ERA, Ohtani was unable to prevent the Angels from a sixth successive losing season and a seventh consecutive campaign without playoff baseball.

Maddon, however, played down the Japanese sensation's comments prior to Tuesday's clash with the Texas Rangers.

"We all feel the same way, we all want to win," Maddon told reporters.

"If anybody misconstrues that as though he wants to leave, that's trying to connect some dots that weren't necessarily what he, not at all what he said.

"He also mentioned how much he loves it here. The inner sanctum of the clubhouse, the guys, the coaching staff, everything about it. The area. The fans. He loves them all.

"We all want to get to the next level, and we see it as an absolute possibility it's going to happen here in the very near future."

Prior to Tuesday, Ohtani had just three home runs in 22 September games – his lowest in any month this season.

Ohtani's 45 home runs are tied for second-most by an Angel in a single season, two behind Troy Glaus' 47 in 2000.

"Don't forget all the platitudes that he mentioned regarding everything else because I think that overrides just saying that he wants to win and somehow connect that to he wants to leave," Maddon added.

 

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