Posts for mike trout

The Phillies are the Bad Boys of Major League Baseball

Coggin Toboggan - March 7, 2019

What a difference a week makes.

Last Thursday morning the city was ready to burn down Citizens Bank Park with the flaming piles of stupid money John Middleton taunted fans with before free agency. We wanted to see the world burn. Reports were streaming in that Bryce Harper and the Phillies were “far apart” in terms of money and other franchises were swarming into the fray like vultures circling a slowly dying zebra on the Serengeti, waiting to pick the bones clean after the deal died on the arid plains.

But at 3 p.m. Jon Heyman dropped the bomb that changed everything with the Phillies’ future:

For the next 13 years the Phillies, the losingest franchise in ALL of professional sports, would have the services of a top five player for the rest of his career. The franchise suddenly had the BEST offseason it had ever had in its history and arguably the best lineup in baseball. Frazzled Phillies interns were relieved of their fruitless duties of finding obscure advanced stats that would SOMEHOW show fans that J.T. Realmuto was just as valuable Harper.

A week later the Phillies have Harper. And Realmuto. And Segura. And McCutchen.

And a week later they’re the bad boys of baseball. With Harper leading the charge, Middleton is now walking into the Clearwater facility wearing beige khakis three sizes too small, showing off the bulge that proved so many doubters (myself included) that he could never land the big fish he promised all of us for years.

A week later Harper is openly telling the media he’ll be courting the best player in baseball, Mike Trout, to play with the Phillies in 2021. What world are we living in? What wormhole did we slip into to come out to this glorious new reality?

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The Mike Trout vs. Rob Manfred Non-Controversy

Kevin Kinkead - July 19, 2018

Millville native Mike Trout is a simple person.

He plays baseball, enjoys Philadelphia sports, spends time with his family, and doesn’t seem all that interested in the spotlight.

If he did, he might be a superstar beyond what he does on the field, which includes two American League MVP awards, seven straight All-Star Game appearances, and a .983 career OPS. But he’s twice turned down invitations to play in the World Baseball Classic and has never participated in the Home Run Derby, telling media last week that he’d “rather just have that night with my family, spend time with them.” He doesn’t say outrageous stuff on social media or talk trash. If LaVar Ball has a polar opposite, it’s probably Mike Trout.

So the topic of Trout’s marketability came up during All Star week, resulting in two key quotes from commissioner Rob Manfred:

“Mike is a great great player, and a really nice person, but he’s made certain decisions with what he wants to do and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time,” Manfred said. “That’s up to him. If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really really big, but he has to make a decision that he’s prepared to engage in that area. It takes time and effort.”

And this is the one that apparently angered some people:

“Player marketing requires one thing, for sure: the player. You cannot market a player passively. You can’t market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom are trying to market in order to have effective marketing.”

That seems pretty innocuous to me. I mean, Manfred literally says, “that’s up to him” in the first quote above. I don’t see anything that makes it feel like Manfred is pissed off or that he’s tapping his foot waiting for Trout to budge.

I also don’t sense that here, not in the specific words or the tone or body language:

Yeah, maybe he could have chosen his words more carefully. You always can. He could have also hammered home the point that marketing is up to the player himself, but it doesn’t feel like we’re nearing some irate ultimatum coming down from MLB headquarters. It feels as though Manfred is simply saying, “the ball is in your court.”

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Mike Trout is Sliding into Adam Schefter’s DMs for the Draft Scoop

Jim Adair - April 30, 2015

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Wouldn’t you be doing the same thing?

Video: Mike Trout Hit a Three-Run Walk-Off Last Night

Kyle Scott - May 16, 2014

KANE! OH MY GOD IT'S KANE!

KANE! OH MY GOD IT’S KANE!

The Phillies aren’t that good and provide their entertainment these days by dressing in traditional Indian garb, so here’s video of Mike Trout hitting his first ever walk-off home run last night.

I would’ve put the video up here, but Major League Baseball doesn’t like publicity:

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You know what the NBA does when Blake Griffin throws down a monster dunk? They go out of their way to make it available on every platform imaginable.

You can see the video here.

Another Mike Trout-to-the-Phillies Column

Kyle Scott - May 15, 2014

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Evans, writing for NJ.com in an article titled Mike Trout a Phillie some day? It’s possible:

Mike Trout didn’t say no.

I asked Trout in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago, with his first time as a professional in Philadelphia a few weeks away, if he envisioned possibly playing for the Phillies some day.

It’s certainly an impossible question to answer honestly, unless the answer is unequivocally that he doesn’t want to play for the team he grew up rooting for and he felt he was going to spend the next 20 years on the West Coast.

“You never know,” said Trout. “I’m just happy this organization gave me an opportunity to be here the next several years.”

The question was asked again of him in a press conference Tuesday before his first game in Philadelphia, and again he noted the time to make that decision is a few years away.

“When the time comes, we’ll see,” said Trout with a laugh.

Please make it stop.

Oh My God the Ridiculous Mike Trout-to-the-Phillies-in-2021 Columns Have Already Started

Kyle Scott - May 14, 2014

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Bob Brookover went reaching in the Inquirer this morning in an article titled Trout 2021: The Recruiting Begins:

It’s late October 2020. The Chicago Cubs have just won the World Series and announced that Steve Bartman and the team’s general manager, Moises Alou, will ride together in a convertible on the Magnificent Mile parade route.

Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, Phillies general manager Chase Utley is trying to figure out a way to add the pieces needed to end the franchise’s nine-year playoff drought. Maikel Franco is playing well at first base and J.P. Crawford has emerged as one of the best shortstops in baseball, but the Phillies need one more hitter in the middle of their lineup.

The timing could not be better. After spending parts of 10 seasons with the Los Angeles Angels and earning nearly $150 million, Mike Trout is finally a free agent. He’s still only 29, he’s closing in on 300 career home runs, and he has won three American League MVP awards. The Angels want to keep him, and Yankees GM Derek Jeter wants him badly, too.

Let the recruiting begin.

Trout wasn’t just saying that because it was the right thing to say. He’s not some kid who went to Hollywood and didn’t care whether he ever returned to his roots. He loves it here, and that just might be the Phillies’ biggest advantage over the Angels, Yankees, and any other team that wants the 21st century’s version of Mickey Mantle in 2021.

No matter how much time Trout spends in Southern California, you get the impression he’s always coming home to South Jersey at the end of every season. You also get the impression that he’d love the opportunity to never leave. He spoke affectionately about the Eagles and the local weather.

First off, let me reiterate my man crush on Trout and my disappointment over his long-term extension with the Angels. It would’ve been, and would be, great to see him in a Phillies uniform, A) because he’s a superstar, and B) because he’s a local kid. Again: I think Mike Trout is awesome and I have a man crush on him despite being eight years his senior.

But.

But can we please stop with this Trout is destined to be a Phillie one day nonsense? He’s an Angel, and he’s going to be an Angel for years to come. Let’s enjoy and celebrate him from afar. In Philly, we have this weird obsession with people who are from here. We expect that, one day, they’ll return to their Greater Philadelphia roots because, obviously, this is the best place on Earth and living here is much better than being in your twenties and a hundred-millionaire in Southern California. Jim’s Burgers… or sex with a pop star on Laguna Beach atop comically large piles of cash?* Hmm. For some reason, and maybe it’s because so many of our families are indigenous to the tri-state area (mine is), we expect that “our celebrities” – Bradley Cooper, Will Smith, Rob McElhenney, Trout, Questlove, David Boreanaz… and, um, Tina Fey? – hold this kinship for Philly that is somehow different than what other celebrities feel for their hometowns. By our logic, every time the Phillies play the Dodgers in LA, it should be considered the tryout for when Chase Utley inevitably decides to take his waning talents to SoCal after this pesky little money-grab in Philly. You see how ridiculous that sounds, but it’s exactly how we view Trout. When Utley talks about going to Dodgers games as a kid, or when Jimmy Rollins talks about going to A’s games, or when Cole Hamels, who once signed a lifetime contract with the Padres, talks about going to games in San Diego, the sports world doesn’t automatically assume that those guys are pining to return to their roots.

We, rightfully, embrace famous locals (the ovation for Trout last night was outstanding), but we take it a step too far and place these totally ridiculous expectations on those folks and pretend that they are different than other stars and celebs because, you know, Philly. It’s so small-town of us. Do people in New York, Chicago and LA do that? I can’t imagine that they do. I’m not trying to be a curmudgeon, either: Trout’s awesome, and it moved when I heard him say that he still has Eagles season tickets. But let’s stop pretending that he is destined to be a Phillie simply because he grew up in Millville, New Jersey. Maybe he will, at 29, sign a $500 million contract with the Phillies. Maybe he won’t. Who knows? But let’s stop acting like it’s an inevitability, because this… this is embarrassing, Mr. Brookover:

Perhaps it was a little too early to ask Trout about coming to Philadelphia, but I decided to give it a shot anyway.

He laughed.

“When the time comes,” he said, “we’ll see.”

You go sow your wild baseball oats, Mr. Trout. If we’re both still single six years from now, then let’s grab coffee or something.

*I’m not implying that Trout has sex with pop stars on Laguna Beach atop comically large piles of cash. But it’s certainly doable if he so chooses.

UPDATE: Oh, and apropos of nothing, here’s a video of Jamie Moyer waving a rally towel at a Seahawks game and a picture of Boreanaz going nuts for the LA Kings:

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pic via (@coughcoolmusic)

Love This Sign

Kyle Scott - May 5, 2014

Voila_Capture 2014-05-05_06-06-39_PM

Voila_Capture 2014-05-05_06-07-41_PM

Man crush on high next week.

Site note: What the hell is Jim’s Burgers?

Mike Trout: Not a Yankees Fan

Kyle Scott - February 27, 2014

Voila_Capture 2014-02-27_09-00-19_AM

Bob Nightengale of USA Today wrote a piece about Mike Trout’s new, strange one-year, $1 million contract.* The deal will keep Trout happy until a longer one can be finalized… preventing him from playing for his hometown Yankees anytime soon:

Really, this six-year deal that should be finalized and announced in the next five weeks, is perfect.

It provides Trout with lifetime security. It gives him a minimum $23.3 million annual average salary. And it still permits him to hit the free-agent market at the age of 29 and make a real killing.

For the Angels, they gain cost certainty. They lock up Trout’s services for an extra three years. And they don’t have to watch him play for his hometown New York Yankees until 2021.

As you may recall, Millville, Trout’s hometown, is in South Jersey, and Trout is still a Phillies and Eagles fan… which makes his inevitable extension with the Angels quite painful. Come home, Mike! Come home!