Mike Trout is regularly considered the greatest MLB player of this generation and he will go down as one of the greatest baseball players of all time. Shohei Ohtani is doing things that have not been done since Babe Ruth and is coming off of his first MVP season. That is two perennial MVP candidates on the same team. Ohtani even pitches. How are the Angels still a clown show?
The Angels currently sit in 3rd place in the AL West. They're 12 games back of the Houston Astros and are 36-41. The last time the Angels even went to the playoffs was back in 2014. Mike Trout was coming off his first MVP and the Angels even had a few good starting pitchers on their team. They were swept 3-0 by the Kansas City Royals. The last time the Angels even won a playoff game was back in 2009. They have been decidedly bad to mediocre since 2014.
Trout has been called "The WAR Machine" for his overall skill at the game and his career accumulation of WAR (a statistic used to cumulatively measure a player's skill) since his career began. He currently sits at 80 WAR, which is well over the mark for a player to enter the Hall of Fame. He will be a first-ballot Hall of famer whenever he decides to retire. He has a career OPS+ of 177, which is ridiculous. He is absolutely as good as the hype. He deserves more hype, somehow.
As if Mike Trout's accomplishments aren't enough to lament a team constantly underachieving, the Angels have Shohei Ohtani. If Mike Trout is a once-in-a-generation player, Ohtani is a unicorn. Not since Babe Ruth has a two-way player made it to the major leagues, sure, but Ohtani is good at both of them. Ohtani has already posted 3.6 bWAR. He's got 17 home runs and a 143 OPS+, but he's also posting a 136 ERA+ to go with his 2.90 ERA. I could not create a player this good on MLB The Show if I tried.
It Has To Be Frustrating
Ohtani only has a few years in Anaheim but he can't be happy about the Angels' futility. They just got through a miserable losing streak, and even when Trout and Ohtani are both hitting, the pitching staff is getting shelled. On Tuesday night, Trout was making it clear he was aware that his pitcher was tipping his pitches, and he didn't look happy about it.
It's an adage, but defense wins championships. The Angels can hit the cover off the ball (well the top names can) but it doesn't matter when your pitching gives up 10 runs a night.
Where's The Blame?
This answer is easy but not fun. There's blame to go around, but it starts at the very top. Since Arte Moreno purchased the team, the Angels have been an absolute mess. Since 2007, the Angels have had four different general managers. Jerry Dipoto resigned in 2015. On his way out, it is said that Moreno was the voice who forced Dipoto into the ill-advised signings of Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton. Recently fired Angels manager Joe Maddon also spoke of issues with the general manager and the overall philosophy. An organization that has toxicity at the top will have that drip down to the bottom.
Until Moreno sells the team, I can almost guarantee that the Angels will not win a world series title. Until then, generational talents like Ohtani and Trout will remain fun to watch, but they won't win.