“Ohtani doesn’t deserve the MVP.”
Major League Baseball commentator and outspoken “Mad Dog” Chris Russo made headlines when he claimed that Shohei Ohtani (29, Los Angeles Angels) didn’t deserve to win the American League MVP this season on MLB Network’s program High Heat.
As a hitter this season, Ohtani batted .304 with 44 home runs, 95 RBI, 102 runs scored, 20 doubles, a .412 slugging percentage, a .654 on-base percentage, and a 1.066 OPS in 135 games. On the mound, he went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA in 23 games, striking out 167 batters in 132 innings with a .184 batting average and a 1.06 WHIP.
As of Sept. 29, he ranks first in the American League in home runs, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, and OPS, third in batting average, third in runs scored, and 12th in RBI. He hasn’t pitched a complete game, but his ERA and WHIP are among the best in the American League. He’s a favorite to win his second unanimous MVP in two years after 2021.
Chris Russo, however, makes the opposite argument. “His argument is that because he’s been injured, and because his absence hasn’t led to wins for the team, that makes him unworthy of the MVP award,” Sports Illustrated’s Angels Fan Nation’s Halos Today reported on Aug. 28.
In fact, Russo said on air, “There’s no way I’m going to make Ohtani the MVP. The team is 17 games (71-88) under 5%. Ohtani is the most valuable player, but that doesn’t mean the best player. And he cleaned out his locker in September. I don’t want to criticize him for that, but he’s not even on the team right now. He hasn’t pitched since August 24th.”스포츠토토
Russo continued, “In essence, Ohtani is not an MVP. Of course, he’s going to win the MVP race, and who cares what I think. I would give the MVP to someone else.” In any case, the fact that his team didn’t make the postseason and his injuries prevented him from being a full-time two-hitter makes him ineligible for MVP honors.
Of course, as Halos Today notes, “Contrary to naysayers like Russo, Ohtani’s chances of winning a second MVP award are high. It will help him earn the biggest contract in Major League Baseball history this winter.” Russo, who doesn’t think Ohtani deserves an MVP award, also doesn’t like the idea of Ohtani’s $500 million free agency.