The LA Angels firing Joe Maddon can potentially have long-term effects on where Shohei Ohtani wants to keep playing ball. That reason isn't just because he seemed to like Maddon. It has nothing to do with that. It has everything to do with the reality that the Angels have been a rather dysfunctional franchise in his time here.
Everyone knows that the Halos haven't made the playoffs since he's been on the team (and since 2014, for that matter). Everyone knows that they haven't even been .500 in his time here (or since 2015, for that matter). At this point, though, Ohtani is ALSO now playing for his fourth manager in not even four and a half seasons with the Angels.
It's not just that Ohtani wants to win, and he's made that clear in the past. It's also that there has simply been absolutely absurd instability here since he put on the Angel uniform. It's exhausting for a player like Ohtani to have to deal with that, and especially one of his caliber.
The reality is that Shohei Ohtani deserves better than what the LA Angels have offered him.
Many LA Angels fans seem to agree with that reality about the Shohei Ohtani situation.
Now, it's completely possible that the Halos--with Phil Nevin or whoever they choose to move on with long-term--will have the organization cooking and Ohtani will not even entertain leaving when he's a 2024 free agent.
The issue is that regardless of what happens in this next year-plus, Ohtani potentially may have a tough time trusting this franchise given all the turmoil that happened in his first four-plus years here.
After all, Ohtani is the best weapon in the game. He's a 2.61 SIERA starting pitcher who strikes out 12.4 batters per nine innings, and also has a 121 OPS+ with 37 runs scored in just the first 56 games of this season.
He's going to have an opportunity to likely make the most money any baseball player has ever seen if he's still playing like this by the time he's 29 and a free agent. He can go anywhere he wants, and literally any team can use him.
The Halos absolutely NEED to nail this new hire if they want to keep Ohtani around long-term. Regardless of one's opinion on the decision to fire Maddon, the move is a massive example of how instable this franchise has been with Ohtani in the lineup. And if things don't change rather quickly, he's too talented to expect that he won't entertain heading elsewhere when it's time.