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Moving into the future with the Anaheim Angels

Without Ohtani, here are things the Angels need to change for the 2024 season.
Shifting focus: the Angels need to lessen their emphasis on generational players and more on the future of the ballclub. (Photo by: AP Images/ Charles Rex Arbogast)

Before considering types of pitches, number of home runs, or plays made on the diamond, baseball organizations need to ensure the stability of their team’s future. The Anaheim Angels exemplify the failure to do so, as they have lacked professionalism and team coordination in the past two decades

Players, management, and fans alike realize the need to repair the Halo name. Media attention, team strategies, and resources have centered around centerfielder Mike Trout and pitcher Shohei Ohtani, which has greatly disrupted the team’s synergy. For instance, first baseman Jared Walsh and outfielder Taylor Ward set MLB homerun records in 2021 and 2022, yet these seasons were solely focused on the return of a recovering Ohtani after Tommy John surgery. 

Despite having two generational talents on their roster, the Angels have failed to qualify for the postseason in nearly a decade. Fans have pleaded for the two superstars to utilize their skills elsewhere, as they feel their talents are being wasted on the frail franchise. 

Additionally, contracts like Shohei Ohtani and third baseman Anthony Rendon have been a sore topic for Halo fans. Rendon has yet to play a full season without injury or on probation since 2021, but remains signed to his seven year 245 million dollar deal with the organization. Similarly, team owner, Arte Moreno’s rejection to match the 700 million dollar Dodgers’ contract for Shohei led to the team’s star player being sent straight to LA. 

In hopes of rebuilding the franchise and getting past the All-Star Break this year, the Angels hired Ron Washington, former head coach of the Angels’ triple A team, to be their new manager. With new management coming this season, the franchise needs to start prioritizing newer prospects and younger players rather than putting all the pressure on veterans. Last season, fans saw the tip of the iceberg in regards to new prospects like middle infielder Zach Neto, outfielder Mickey Moniak, and new pitcher Ben Joyce, who threw multiple pitches over 100 mph in his MLB debut. 

However, with these new arms and faces in the Angels organization, fans also noticed an injury increase since past seasons. This raises new questions and concerns about coaching and managerial tactics and techniques regarding the safety and health of the players. Although injuries cannot be predicted, being proactive about injury prevention is an expectation for all professional sports organizations; the Angels have been lacking in this standard leading to the injury of more than half of the starting 2023 lineup. 

Internally, Anaheim as a whole needs to lessen their fixation on big name contracts and focus more on the future of the Angels franchise by creating a better balanced team, avoiding injuries, and trusting Ron Washington if hopes of clinching a playoff spot this season are anywhere on the Halo’s radar.

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About the Contributor
Mikaela Woo
Mikaela Woo, Staff Writer
Mikaela Woo is a sophomore staff writer who, after a little push from her English teacher, decided to pursue her passion for writing, joining the Gamut back in 2022. She hopes to inform readers through her research and reporting, focusing on topics in A&E and Sports, which align with her deep love for softball, music, and pop culture. Possessing a bold, friendly, and dynamic personality, Mikaela is open to pretty much everyone and not shy about what she likes. She has mixed music tastes, ranging from pop girly-girl vibes to heartbreak country songs, and she often listens to artists such as Taylor Swift, Gracie Abrams, Zach Bryan, and Cody Johnson. Beyond music, readers won't be able to catch her without her phone, Diet Coke, and makeup, notably her mascara. Mikaela also enjoys the vibrant and endearingly campy nostalgia of classic 2000s teen-girl movies and shows like Mean Girls, Legally Blonde, and Gilmore Girls. In the face of a challenge, she remains persistent and resilient, always being able to handle them just in time. Mikaela’s authenticity shines through, especially in her work, so make sure to tune in! It's Mikaela’s era this year, her version.
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