Can No Ohtani Angels Prove The Ewing Theory

The 2024 Angels are on the precipice of activating “The Ewing Theory” as “The Ohtani Theory”.

From the Urban Dictionary…

A theory hashed by ESPN.com writer Bill Simmons and his friend Dave Cirilli. It that explains the reason why teams inexplicably become better after their star player leaves the team for any reason (trade, injury, etc.). Two elements must be present for a situation to be explained by the Ewing Theory: 1) The team has a star player who receives a lot of attention but never wins anything, and 2) The star player leaves the team and everybody writes the team off.

The Knicks lose Patrick Ewing to an injury in a 1999 NBA playoff series with the Indiana Pacers. Everyone writes them off. The Knicks then win three of the next four games and win the series to advance to the NBA finals.

There may never be a player who garners the attention and gushing superlatives in the extreme that Shohei Ohtani did during his tenure as an Angel. Considering the paucity of accomplishments that the team produced during his tenure, 2024 is ripe with the possibilities of proving The Ewing Theory or leaving it to the dustbin of flat-earth-like hypotheses.

This is not a 90-win team but this also not a team with a unicorn expected to carry the weight of the other 25 teammates. Minasian’s strategy seems to be to let the talent develop and play for 2025 but with an eye toward trade deadline possibilities if things should gel by July. If Patrick Ewing should throw out the ceremonial first pitch in Anaheim next season it will only be after the pregame ring ceremony.

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Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
14 days ago

Baseball players are the ultimate creatures if habit.

Getting the rotation into a regular rotation might help.

Not having random bullpen games because Ohtani needs to postpone a start might help.

But overall this is a team that doesn’t excel in any one area. And that’s not good.

Senator_John_Blutarsky
Legend

As Perry enters his final season under contract with the Angels, it’s reassuring he’s finally locked in on a strategy.

Sure, I’ll play along.

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Last edited 15 days ago by Senator_John_Blutarsky
Fansince1971
Legend
15 days ago

I could have bought into this if the Org had traded Ohtani and bolstered the farm with legit prospects. That would have added depth and young talent to a team in desperate need of it.

The problem with the Angels has not been Ohtani and the attention he has garnered. The problem has been the stunning lack of depth in the system and a minor league system that ranks near the bottom of everyone’s list.

Losing Ohtani would have been great had there been a return to help fill the obvious holes and lack of depth. In fact several of us advocated for it in 2022. Had that been done we may have had a Ewing Theory example in Anaheim.

However this team is headed for the Sewer theory in my opinion which means stinky and smelly due to a long season and no depth and no minor league system.

Applying the Ewing theory to this team is just more mumbo jumbo and magic thinking. A solid system can add by subtraction. But a crappy and weak Org like this one can only subtract by subtraction.

Last edited 15 days ago by Fansince1971
rosstrade
Trusted Member
14 days ago
Reply to  Fansince1971

Yes, not trading Ohtani for prospects or other players was head scratching considering they didn’t match the Dodger’s offer.

At first I thought that losing Ohtani would allow, maybe force, the team into a serious rebuild and a new positive direction. With the recent team additions, I don’t see that happening.

tanana40
Super Member
14 days ago
Reply to  rosstrade

The team did not invest in long term contracts that likely would not have helped them win so I take that as a positive. We will see if they start investing in the minor leagues, scouting, etc.

Fansince1971
Legend
14 days ago
Reply to  tanana40

Agree – but the main point is that the Ewing theory doubtfully applies here. The distraction of Ohtani was not the issue – the failings of the Org is the problem. Hopefully the lack of long term contracts is a step in the right direction.

h27kim
Trusted Member
15 days ago

Abstractly, I could see how it could work. The trouble with the worry about “wasting” Trout and Ohtani was that the team never got to be organized as a “team” from bottom up. We kept trying to find complementary pieces that could “help” Trout and Ohtani and that never worked right, especially since this is baseball and not basketball. You can’t have a roster of Jordan, Pippen, and some good role players and become a championship team. Free agency is not what it was: quality players rarely hit free agency and become too expensive, so you can’t build a whole “supporting” roster out of free agency. Without a good farm, trading for them was an uphill battle. Without a good scouting/coaching staff, finding projects and turning them around was not a viable path either. So starting with a “cleaner” slate and building from the bottom up potentially makes more sense.

But this leaves a lot of if’s: the same deficiencies that prevented acquisition of a roster of solid supporting players are still there. The organizational fundamentals need to be fixed and that’ll take time, even assuming that proper attention and resources are mobilized…which we can’t be confident of.

So, no, I don’t really buy this even in the medium term. (And I definitely don’t buy it for this season.)

rosstrade
Trusted Member
14 days ago
Reply to  h27kim

I think the basic problem that you are describing is the result of leadership that doesn’t have the capacity to create and implement a baseball organizational model that yields good results on the field year in and year out – such as Houston or LA.

With Arte at the helm, it’ll be hard to right the ship.

Mia
Legend
Mia
15 days ago

Didn’t you hear, Rev?

Season’s over. Fire Washington. Trade Trout.

DowningDude
Legend
15 days ago

Yes – we are JR Ewing – who shot us?

h27kim
Trusted Member
15 days ago
Reply to  DowningDude

It was all just a dream?

Fleckstein
Trusted Member
15 days ago

I approve this message!
I also think not having to worry about a number six helps even with the loss of a true number one (which would have been lost even if re-signing—and I am sure many on this site would be buzzing in anger if Angels paid even $300 million x however many years for a DH that only hoped to pitch in the future).

Cowboy26
Legend
15 days ago
Reply to  Fleckstein

We lost a true number one and now have a whole bunch of number two?

Last edited 15 days ago by Cowboy26
angelslogic
Super Member
14 days ago
Reply to  Cowboy26

Piles of it.

Cowboy26
Legend
15 days ago

Why Not ? The No ARod M’s did

WallyChuckChili
Legend
15 days ago

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