Show Mike Trout Some Love
I meant to write this article some time ago, however I just sort of went on living my life, so it may seem irrelevant at this late stage. Or, even likelier, no one will read this post anyway, and I will be spared the ridicule that is showing up to the party late with a two liter of soda while my soon-to-be ex-girlfriend makes out with some guy named DJ Steve-O on the couch in front of everyone.
Bryce Harper has been a media darling ever since he belted his way into the national baseball consciousness. His herculean performances, such as the monster home runs that he nearly hit through the back wall of Tropicana Field (or whatever they call that mausoleum down in Tampa), and his dominance of the high school, junior college, and tournament competition attracted the national spotlight. It seemed as though everyone was biding their time, with one eye on the Stephen Strasburg chronicles, until they would get a chance to see what he was capable against some grown-ass men in The Show. There was no shortage of headlines along the way, either. He was a prick in the minor leagues, and nobody really liked him. All of the “analysts” (I’m looking at you, Nomar Garciaparra) said that he needed to grow up. Then, he had the arrogant, self-indulgent photoshoots where he fit a baseball in his mouth just to prove to everyone (as well as himself) that he could do it. He has drawn lots of attention, as is natural given the nation’s obsession with the young phenom. It is also natural that this spotlight can go to said phenom’s head, informing some of the behavior that has characterized other gifted athletes that were discovered at young ages such as Tiger Woods. Recently, the channels of sports media were abuzz with Cole Hamels rocking him with a mid-nineties fastball , to “welcome him to the big leagues.” I understand that people have been watching the career arc of Bryce Harper for years, and are interested to see what will happen next. But people seriously need to start showing Mike Trout some fucking love.
Mike Trout is a young major league outfielder too, just twenty years old as of press time. That’s just one year older than the young gunner, Bryce Harper. He is a bright spot on an underachieving Los Angeles Angels de las Anaheim of Guadalupe team, who are trailing the Rangers by four and a half games in the AL West. He comes up with the big hits in big spots, as he did last night, jumpstarting a largely dormant Angels offense with an RBI triple that lead them to a win over the previously mentioned division leading Texas Rangers. Trout’s stats compare favorably to that of Harper, hitting .309 to the respectable .275, 19 RBIs to Harper’s 11, and a slight advantage in on base percentage and home runs. He’s an easy guy to root for, too. He somehow made it out of the hellhole that is the state of New Jersey, an impressive feat in and of itself, to playing baseball under the hot lights of the MLB. He’s got appeal on both coasts, so everyone should love this guy, whether their grinding it out on the Savannah corners or hanging loose while hanging ten on the gnarly tubeage of Palo Alto (not sure if that’s on the coast or not, but don’t really give a shit because they’re all nerds there anyway).
While he does not have the phenom appeal of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout is a young, good-looking guy who is the real deal and will be one of the best players in the league in the years to come. So get on the train before it leaves the station. I’m looking at you, ESPN. How about hopping off the East Coast’s jock and dabble in a little unbiased journalism like they taught Kevin Neghandi at school. If you crush that boy’s love for journalism and mediocre one-liners, ESPN execs, that will be a great loss for the world as a whole and you will pay dearly. So throw it out to the West Coast and give Mike some props.
-Dan “Dish” Schlant