Were you not entertained? The final at-bat of the 2023 World Baseball Classic brought upon a clash between titans Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout in a seemingly scripted ending not even Arian Foster could dream of. It was the cherry on top of a tournament worthy of the hype.
But while Ohtani and Trout, teammates on the Los Angeles Angels, will wear the same team colors again in mere days, the question has to be asked: was the last at-bat of the World Baseball Classic a glimpse of the near future?
Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout’s 2023 World Baseball Classic matchup could just be the tip of the iceberg
With all the rumors swirling around Ohtani’s potential departure from Anaheim in free agency at the conclusion of the 2023 season, perhaps we’ve witnessed just the tip of the iceberg in some epic battles between two baseball superstars.
Ohtani has a taste of winning from the World Baseball Classic, and winning is addictive. Whether the Angels can follow suit this season? Well, that remains to be seen, which is why the Japanese phenom has hinted at leaving the team in free agency in the first place.
And considering how Trout fared in his matchup versus Ohtani? It’s easy to see why the former would want the latter on his side of things.
Even if Ohtani does leave the Angels after this season, any subsequent duels between him and Trout have to be good for baseball. Everyone dreamed of being able to watch this matchup play out on the global stage that is the World Baseball Classic, and there’s no reason why that desire would evaporate should Ohtani switch teams next winter.
Or perhaps this rare face-off was a treat that should be reserved solely for an event as monumental as the World Baseball Classic, which would be the case if Ohtani remains an Angel long-term. But there’s no fun in waiting three more years for Ohtani vs. Trout.
Instead, this iconic battle between baseball’s biggest stars on the world stage should be something we hope to see more of in the near future.
Regardless of how things play out, though, one thing is for sure: Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout have made baseball fun to watch.