Trout's Action, Abilities Say Plenty; He Doesn't Need to Self-Promote
There's something missing from this picture.
Mike Trout is being called out by the Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred because Trout isn't enough of a self-promoter?
That doesn't compute.
Trout is arguably the best player in the game.
I say arguably because I could easily make the case that Nolan Arenado deserves that distinction in light of the completeness of his game, which even has players from a different generation admitting that Arenado well could be the best third baseman the game has ever seen.
But then Arenado isn't a self-promoter, either. So I guess he wouldn't fit whatever it is Major League Baseball feels is important for its star players to possess.
Just what is it that Trout doesn't do?
He plays the game hard and with a high skill set.
He has the respect of his teammates for his commitment to the team.
He has a personality.
He isn't necessarily verbose in media sessions, but he is polite, available and willing to answer the questions that are asked.
Biggest knock on him? He hasn't played on a championship team. The Angels won the World Series in 2002, long before the arrival of Mike Trout. They haven't been back to the World Series since.
It that his fault?
Baseball, of all sports, is one game that a single player can't control.
Just what has he done on the field?
Well, as a rookie he led the AL in stolen bases. He has led the AL in runs scored three times and is in position to do it again this year. He was the AL RBI leader in 2014. He led the league in slugging percentage in 2015 and 2017, and in on-base percentage not only in 2016 and 2017, but is at the top of the pack again this year.
And he is 26 years old.
Check out Baseball-Reference.com, and the player he was most similar to at ages 21 and 25 is Frank Robinson. At ages 22, 23 and 24 the comparison is Mickey Mantle.
Now, the fans obviously know who he is. He is a seven-time All-Star, and has been voted to the starting lineup by the fans five times.
The players obviously know who he is. He has won the Silver Slugger for offensive excellence by an outfielder the last five years.
And the media hasn't ignored him. In six full big-league seasons, voters from the Baseball Writers Association of America have voted him the AL MVP twice, second in the voting three times, and fourth in the voting once.
He spends his time with fans, and puts in hours on charity work.
Oh, and the consumers know him, too. Let's just point out that he is 26 and Nike is already producing the fifth version of the Mike Trout baseball shoe.
What's the knock on him, he doesn't pander for attention? He doesn't try and set himself apart from his teammates? He doesn't blast the Angels for failing to provide enough talent to do any better in his first six full big-league seasons making it to the post-season just once, and being swept in that endeavor?
He just goes about his business, enjoys life, and puts together seasons that are better than any other outfielder in the game.
That is a reason to be admired, not to be expected to apologize.
Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers are arguably the best players in the NFL. Both are quarterbacks. Both have won Super Bowls. Neither one is going to be praised for the cute one-liners they deliver. Heck, the most recognizable quarterback in the NFL from a public standpoint isn't even in the NFL any more -- Colin Kaepernick.
Lebron James is certainly a regular figure on television, having climbed into the mold as the NBA's most recognizable player, but it's not like he is beloved. He gets heat for using free agency to change teams, in search of an NBA title. Damn him for wanting to win.
Truth be told, I'd say Trout is the perfect guy to be the face of the franchise -- and the game.
He embodies hard work, a team-first-mentality, and is at least the best player in the AL, if not all of MLB.