It is going to be an annual debate until it happens. Either the Angels are going to do what they must to get Mike Trout signed long-term or he will walk into free agency at 26 (!), potentially staring at the richest contract in the game’s history.
Last August, Kevin Goldstein (then of Baseball Prospectus, now of the Houston Astros) polled the baseball industry and asked what kind of deal front office types would offer Mike Trout at that time. Getting Blanked opened the discussion on our hallowed pages and the consensus was “whatever” he wants”, also a pull-quote from Goldstein’s piece.
Now 11 months have passed and the question is no less terrifying than it was at that time: what kind of deal does Mike Trout deserve?
You’ve heard it on broadcasts or you see it on Twitter. Some baseball pundit, trying to fill air time says something silly and/or asinine along the lines of “home runs kill rallies.” The belief, largely held among former players, hinges on the idea that clearing the deck of base runners gives the pitcher a break, allowing him to refocus and get the job done with a blank slate.
Never mind that the runs are already on the board, nothing is worse than a rally.
It is, of course, bunk. Scoring runs is the name of the game. Homers ensure runs score every time, without fail. It is about the best use of your limited, precious outs.
The Los Angeles Angels are a team built to hit home runs and, as a direct result of said dingers, score in bunches. That’s pretty much their whole thing, with Mike Trout and Albert Pujols and Mark Trumbo and some guy named Josh stacking their lineup.
Last night, rather than utilize the home run to their advantage, the Angels dinked and dunked and singled the Detroit Tigers to death – though the Tigers did themselves no favours thanks to their six errors on the night. The Halos won 14-8, representing their single highest run scoring output of the season. The Angels did so on 16 hits – only two of which went for extra bases in the form of doubles by JB Shuck and Albert Pujols.
This was…an unusual night of offense, to say the least.
If you asked J.J. Hardy, he would say he’s happy his team got the win. Because the Baltimore Orioles did, in fact, beat the Los Angeles Angels by a score of 3-2 tonight. The O’s pushed across the go-ahead run in the 8th inning and then held the Angels from scoring with two on in the bottom of the ninth.
But if you asked J.J. Hardy if, in his heart of hearts, he wasn’t a little peeved with the Angels outfielders, he’d be lying if he said anything other than “yes.”
Weight. Expectations. Crumbling. Get it? (Jokes are always much better when you explain them.)
LAD – 3-4
So much promise. So much potential.
But ultimately, you just end up face down with your face firmly shoved into the Earth’s crust, drowning slowly at edge of a liquid galaxy with your b-hole showing (until you realize that you have a Cuban superhero who you can call to save the day, apparently).