The saddest baseball story in four words

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Yet another slow day in the world of baseball, yet another time-wasting thought exercise.

This one courtesy of a Twitter meme by someone named Amy Rios. I have no idea who Amy Rios is, but her tweet from the other day just found its way into my timeline and now half of the people I follow are playing games with it.

Here’s the tweet:

 

A pretty simple concept. And one which, as you can imagine, lends itself to political stuff pretty easily. I’ve already seen about a dozen variations on “Inauguration of Donald Trump” and the like. My personal contribution was “Directed by Michael Bay,” but then “The Rock” truthers came out of the woodwork so maybe that one is not too good. People have bad taste.

The baseball-themed ideas are what have, obviously, stuck in my head. Our own Drew Silva offered one:

I was gonna laugh but I know what it’s like to lose Jason Heyward from my team and I sympathize with what Drew is going through.

Other possibilities? “Right Fielder Yasmany Tomas” is kind of frightening, but I suppose we’ll have to wait until the season gets going to see if it’s really sad. “Plate umpire Joe West” is certainly anxiety-inducing and could be sad I suppose. “Pitcher comes to bat” is sad if you’re smart and realize the DH should be universal. “Curt Schilling just tweeted …” could work.

Any ideas of your own?

Shohei Ohtani agrees to $30 million deal for 2023 with Angels

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani agreed to a $30 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels for the 2023 season in the two-way superstar’s final year of arbitration eligibility before free agency.

The Angels announced the deal, avoiding a potentially complicated arbitration case with the 2021 AL MVP.

Ohtani’s deal is fully guaranteed, with no other provisions. The contract is the largest ever given to an arbitration-eligible player, surpassing the $27 million given to Mookie Betts by the Boston Red Sox in January 2020, a month before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Ohtani is having another incredible season at the plate and on the mound for the Angels, regularly accomplishing feats that haven’t occurred in the major leagues since Babe Ruth’s heyday. He is a strong contender for the AL MVP award again alongside the Yankees’ Aaron Judge, who has tied the AL home run record and is closing in on the batting Triple Crown.

Ohtani is batting .276 with 34 homers, 94 RBIs and a .888 OPS as the Halos’ designated hitter. He is 15-8 with a 2.35 ERA and 213 strikeouts as their ace on the mound, and opponents are batting only .207 against him.

The 28-year-old Ohtani still will be a free agent after the 2023 season, and his future could be tied to the immediate fortunes of the Angels, who will complete their seventh consecutive losing season next week. The Angels didn’t trade Ohtani at the deadline despite being out of the playoff race again, and Ohtani is wildly popular among the club’s fans.

Ohtani repeatedly has said winning will be an important factor in choosing his home beyond 2023, and Angels owner Arte Moreno is currently exploring a sale of the team.

Moreno’s leadership has been widely criticized during the Angels’ mostly miserable run of play since 2009, and a fresh start with deep-pocketed new owners could be the best chance to persuade Ohtani to stay with the franchise he joined in 2018 from Japan. Ohtani immediately won the AL Rookie of the Year award, and he rounded into unique form last season after recovering fully from Tommy John surgery.