MLB Yearender 2023: Shohei Ohtani vs Mike Trout Showdown, Athletics’ Fans Reverse Boycott Against John Fisher, and Adolis García Going Berserk During Postseason

Published 12/30/2023, 4:30 PM EST

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As the league figures out how to ignite the hot stove in a dead winter, the new year calls for a reflection of the last 12 months. From spring training fiascos to the exciting World Baseball Classic, the beginning of the MLB year was appropriately dramatic. While some front pages were reserved for the rest of the league, Shohei Ohtani ruled the headlines as usual.

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The mid-year brought news of unsavory injuries and widespread protests, and the year ended with the historic World Series win by the Texas Rangers. But starting from the beginning, here’s a look at three of the most exciting events MLB in 2023 was witness to.

Shohei Ohtani vs. Mike Trout – A battle for the ages

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The running theme of 2023 was the Los Angeles Angels being chided for wasting away the primes of two of the sport’s biggest superstars – Shohei Ohtani and Mike Trout. While Anaheim was robbed of a postseason run in the six years the two played together, baseball fans were spectators to one of the greatest moments in baseball on March 21, 2023.

Team Japan reached the WBC Finals undefeated, ready to devour Team USA. One of the most-watched games in North American sports history, Ohtani vs. Trout, was what most were looking forward to. Even America was rooting for Japan when the two teammates came up against each other in the final inning. Two outs, bases empty, Japan barely holding on to a 3-2 lead, Shohei Ohtani on the mound, and Mike Trout on the plate.

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Ohtani threw his most violent pitch yet, a swing and a miss from Trout, and that was it! Team Japan became the only country to clinch three WBC titles, leaving fans all around the globe waiting for the next edition. But while the beginning was great, the mid-year brought a depressing truth to the forefront.

Oakland Athletics Fans Rally the League for a ‘Reverse Boycott’

With the worst record of 30 MLB teams, the lowest payroll, and the poorest attendance numbers, the Oakland A’s did not have it easy this year. To make things worse, owner John Fisher announced the team would be moving to Las Vegas, leaving the city in disarray. With a historic ‘reverse boycott’ movement in mid-June, thousands of Oakland protestors showed up at the Coliseum in green t-shirts with a single word on them – ‘SELL’.

WATCH THIS STORY – Shohei Ohtani Bests MLB Teammate Mike Trout As Team Japan Clinchs Their Third World Baseball Classic Title in Nail-Biting Clash

Unfortunately, it seems the efforts fell flat because even now; the dominoes keep falling and Fisher remains adamantly in charge. The A’s were undoubtedly the worst in the league this year, but on the opposite end of the spectrum, the Lone Star State shot to glory.

Heroes Are Made in October, Proves Adolis García

The Texas Rangers made a last-minute October entrance but won it all to their first-ever World Series victory. Shining for the franchise was Adolis García, earning boos in rival ballparks for an incredible performance. Although Corey Seager may have won the Fall Classic MVP, García was the ALCS MVP after serving an ultimate defeat to the 2022 World Series champs and division rivals, the Houston Astros.

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The domination started in the ALDS, when García played the frontman of the Rangers game after game, taking down regular season giants the Baltimore Orioles. Although an oblique injury cut short his Fall career, the Cuban slugger still came away with a proud record of home runs in five consecutive playoff games.

El Bombi may have received some tasteless comments from disagreeable critics who accused him of using steroids. But Bruce Bochy and men believed in him, and so did Texas. It was the kind of postseason run that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

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MLB Yearender 2023: Corey Seager’s Retort, Ronald Acuña Jr.’s Historic Feat, And Shohei Ohtani Breaking MLB’s Bank

What a rollercoaster the year was! What were your top moments from the MLB year? Let us know in the comments below!

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Written by:

Arunima Bhanot

1,105Articles

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My tryst with MLB was accidental, but what followed was nothing short of a pursuit of excellence. Having penned over 1,000 articles, I've written about the key figures ES regularly features, including Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Barry Bonds, and Mike Trout, but Shohei Ohtani is a personal favorite. From New York to Los Angeles, I've covered articles spanning all 50 states that have been recognized as Editor's Picks on multiple occasions.
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Edited by:

Arunima Bhanot

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