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Shohei Ohtani admits it is hard to remain motivated when Los Angeles are not playoff contenders

Angels star Shohei Ohtani admits it’s hard to stay motivated when Los Angeles aren’t playoff contenders, but insists he’s ‘focused on every game’ after being linked to Yankees and Padres trade

  • Los Angeles has a 44-61 record and is currently fourth in the AL West
  • The Angels are 12 games away from third place with a wildcard in the American League
  • Star Shohei Ohtani admitted it’s hard to know the playoff chances are slim

Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani admitted it’s hard to stay motivated amid the team’s losing streak.

Los Angeles tied a Major League-record with seven solo homeruns, including two by Ohtani, but still lost 8-7 to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday.

After the Angels’ game on Wednesday – another loss to the A’s, this time a 3-1 loss – Ohtani admitted it was difficult to stay motivated when Los Angeles playoff opportunities had slipped far from their grasp.

Los Angeles Angels Star Shohei Ohtani Admits It's Hard To Stay Motivated

Los Angeles Angels Star Shohei Ohtani Admits It’s Hard To Stay Motivated

“Staying motivated like that is hard,” Ohtani said in Japanese via the Los Angeles Times.

But the 28-year-old, who threw well in the defeat, insisted he stayed focused.

“Individually there are many things I have to do,” he said. “But my life in baseball will go on and whatever the circumstances, I want to be focused every game.”

The 28-year-old, who threw well in the defeat, insisted he stay focused

The 28-year-old, who threw well in the defeat, insisted he stay focused

The Angels come in on Friday with a record of 44-61 and are currently fourth in the AL West and also 12 games away from the third wildcard spot in the American League.

Ohtani may have worn the team occasionally this season. He threw 5 2/3 innings and struckout seven and gave up only two earned runs on Wednesday.

Last month, he struckout 11 batters and gave up two earned runs in six innings during the Angels’ loss to the Texas Rangers.

Ohtani admitted there has been a shift in the team’s mentality compared to earlier in the season.

“Things are different than when we won earlier in the season,” he said. ‘That’s why we became sellers. Of course, as a team, you can’t continue to play with the high morale you had when you were aiming for the postseason.

Ohtani admitted there has been a change of mentality compared to earlier in the season

Ohtani admitted there has been a change of mentality compared to earlier in the season

“We’re not in a place where it’s okay to just think that if you do what you can in this one at bat or inning, or get a result against this one batter, and pile that up and just win the game.

“As a player, it’s pretty hard to know that the chances of a win being a factor in getting through the postseason are slim. But I think I would like to do what I have to do to do the best I can.’

With the Angels so far out of the playoff battle, rumors are circulating as to whether Ohtani would be traded before Tuesday’s deadline.

The Angels may have “listened in” to offers for star Ohtani, but the talks reportedly went nowhere as owner Arte Moreno “didn’t even want to hear offers,” according to the New York Post.

With the Angels out of the playoff battle, there were rumors of Ohtani being traded

With the Angels out of the playoff battle, there were rumors of Ohtani being traded

The Yankees and Padres were among the ‘a dozen’ teams trying to do battle with the embattled franchise, who ultimately decided to hold on to Ohtani with their other franchise cornerstone Mike Trout injured.

Los Angeles, however, traded three stars – starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard, closer Raisel Iglesias and outfielder Brandon Marsh – for three legitimate play-off candidates.

Ohtani revealed that he will still be cheering on his former teammates as he wished them the best.

“I applaud from the bottom of my heart the players who have left,” Ohtani said. “I would like them to be part of good teams, get results and give their best in the post season.”

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