Top NewsShohei Ohtani's locker is empty; Demigods to interpret...

Shohei Ohtani’s locker is empty; Demigods to interpret content.

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Associated PressSep 16, 2023, 07:55 AM ET3 minutes of reading

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Anaheim, Calif. — Shohei Ohtani’s locker was mostly cleared at Angel Stadium, and the Los Angeles Angels refused to say why Friday night.

The two-way superstar missed his 11th straight game with an oblique muscle injury in the Angels’ 11-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Friday night. Although Ohtani was at the stadium before the game, the soon-to-be free agent’s locker was mostly empty.

Almost all personal belongings were removed from his locker and the adjoining empty stall. A bag fully packed with the logo of the 2023 All-Star Game sat in front of his stall, where his shoes usually are, and only a few workout shirts hung on a rack.

An Angels spokesman said the team would provide more information on the development Saturday, nearly half an hour after reporters were allowed into the locker room and noticed the absence of Ohtani’s belongings.

Ohtani will be a free agent this winter after six seasons with the Angels, and his future has been a source of constant speculation, which intensified after Los Angeles fell out of the playoff race in August. Ohtani has remained tight-lipped about his future, and his recent injuries have further changed the debate about his long-term plans.

He had already been sidelined as a pitcher this season because of a torn ligament in his right elbow, but the Angels were hopeful he could return as a hitter after slumping in batting practice last week.

Ohtani remains the frontrunner for his second American League Most Valuable Player award in three years, but Texas’ Corey Seager may be on voters’ minds. Ohtani, who went 10-5 with a 3.14 ERA this season, leads the AL with 44 homers, and his 1.066 OPS is second-best in the majors, now trailing Seager.

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