Bob Schwartz

Tag: Mike Trout

Mike Trout Signing 12-Year $426.5 Million Contract

I am rerunning a post from last year about the incomparable and inspirational excellence and humility of Mike Trout. Playing for the Los Angeles Angels, he has been the best player in baseball since he started in 2011, and there is growing consensus that he might finish his career as the best player ever.

He has not yet single-handedly helped the Angels to playoff success, but that may come. In two years, he would be able to be a free agent and accept enormous offers from other teams. Instead, the Angels wisely decided to offer him the biggest contract in sports history.

Big contracts in sports, entertainment, business and other realms are often a sign of nothing more than too much money chasing too little talent. In the case of Mike Trout, the opposite is true. Google Mike Trout and see what thousands are saying–including the thought that the Angels are getting a bargain!


Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is universally considered the best player in Major League Baseball. The only questions remaining are how much better he might get and whether he may be the best to ever play the game. Seriously, and seriously amazing since Trout is only 26 and has been in the majors only since 2011.

I’ll let veteran sportswriter Mike Lupica take over the story. But there is one more point to make about Trout. Along with overwhelming acknowledgment of his once-in-a-generation talent, he is universally regarded for his humility and lack of showmanship. He only wants to do three things: play baseball as well as he can for his team, get better every day at playing baseball, and be known and seen for playing baseball and not for anything else he says or does.

For those of us who are not nearly the best, let alone the best ever, that should be inspiring and aspirational.


Mike Lupica
MLB.com

The question for the Angels’ Mike Scioscia, who has seen it all from Mike Trout from the moment Trout hit the big leagues in 2011, was simple enough. It was about Trout’s capacity, if he has one, to still surprise his own manager, as Trout continues to be the greatest star of his sport and one of the great stars of American sports, even if he is not discussed nearly often enough outside baseball the way he ought to be, which means as baseball’s LeBron….

It doesn’t work that way in baseball, or for Trout, who is the best player of his time, on his way, if he is blessed by good health, to someday being called one of the most complete of all time. To this point, Trout has only played three postseason games in his career. He has just one postseason home run in the books. LeBron always has the postseason stage, and the brightest lights there are. So does someone like Tom Brady, who has played eight Super Bowls in his own career.

Not Trout, at least not so far.

It does not change who Trout is and what he has done in baseball and keeps doing, before his 27th birthday. From the time he played his first full season for the Angels in 2012, the only time he has finished worse than second in the American League’s MVP Award voting was last season, when he got hurt and only played 114 games. Even with all the missed time, Trout finished fourth in the voting. So he has two MVPs already, three seconds, a fourth. As always, his personal stats continue to give off a beam of light.

When I suggested to Reggie Jackson, who lives in southern California and has had his own ringside seat to the way Trout plays the game, that Trout is the superstar who sometimes seems to be hiding in plain sight, Reggie said, “No. We all know that he’s the best player.”

Added Reggie: “You know how we always talk about five-tool players [hitting for average, hitting for power, base running, throwing, and fielding]? You watch Trout play and sometimes you swear he’s got even more than that. He checks boxes that you didn’t even know were boxes.”

Excellence and Humility: Why Baseball’s Mike Trout Should Be President (of Our Hearts)

“As always, his personal stats continue to give off a beam of light.”
Mike Lupica, MLB.com

Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels is universally considered the best player in Major League Baseball. The only questions remaining are how much better he might get and whether he may be the best to ever play the game. Seriously, and seriously amazing since Trout is only 26 and has been in the majors only since 2011.

I’ll let veteran sportswriter Mike Lupica take over the story. But there is one more point to make about Trout. Along with overwhelming acknowledgment of his once-in-a-generation talent, he is universally regarded for his humility and lack of showmanship. He only wants to do three things: play baseball as well as he can for his team, get better every day at playing baseball, and be known and seen for playing baseball and not for anything else he says or does.

For those of us who are not nearly the best, let alone the best ever, that should be inspiring and aspirational.


Mike Lupica
MLB.com

The question for the Angels’ Mike Scioscia, who has seen it all from Mike Trout from the moment Trout hit the big leagues in 2011, was simple enough. It was about Trout’s capacity, if he has one, to still surprise his own manager, as Trout continues to be the greatest star of his sport and one of the great stars of American sports, even if he is not discussed nearly often enough outside baseball the way he ought to be, which means as baseball’s LeBron….

It doesn’t work that way in baseball, or for Trout, who is the best player of his time, on his way, if he is blessed by good health, to someday being called one of the most complete of all time. To this point, Trout has only played three postseason games in his career. He has just one postseason home run in the books. LeBron always has the postseason stage, and the brightest lights there are. So does someone like Tom Brady, who has played eight Super Bowls in his own career.

Not Trout, at least not so far.

It does not change who Trout is and what he has done in baseball and keeps doing, before his 27th birthday. From the time he played his first full season for the Angels in 2012, the only time he has finished worse than second in the American League’s MVP Award voting was last season, when he got hurt and only played 114 games. Even with all the missed time, Trout finished fourth in the voting. So he has two MVPs already, three seconds, a fourth. As always, his personal stats continue to give off a beam of light.

When I suggested to Reggie Jackson, who lives in southern California and has had his own ringside seat to the way Trout plays the game, that Trout is the superstar who sometimes seems to be hiding in plain sight, Reggie said, “No. We all know that he’s the best player.”

Added Reggie: “You know how we always talk about five-tool players [hitting for average, hitting for power, base running, throwing, and fielding]? You watch Trout play and sometimes you swear he’s got even more than that. He checks boxes that you didn’t even know were boxes.”

More Proof That Baseball Is Better Than Politics


The political polling analyst Nate Silver is something of a hero, both for his accurate predictions and for his amazingly clear explanation of the statistics that lead to his seemingly prescient conclusions. To paraphrase Barack Obama talking about Bill Clinton’s ability to make complex budget math simple, Nate Silver should be the Secretary of Explaining Things statistical.

Those of us who have followed Nate’s career, even before the New York Times made him and his Five Thirty Eight blog a must-read fixture, know that his roots are not in politics but in the art and science of baseball stats. That’s why it was wonderful to see him switch gears yesterday from the election to the most contentious baseball argument of the moment: who should be this year’s American League Most Valuable Player, an award voted on by the Baseball Writers of America?

To make this basic for non-baseball fans, two players in the league had historic, exceptional seasons. Miguel Cabrera, playing for the pennant-winning but World Series-losing Detroit Tigers, was the first player in forty-five years to win the Triple Crown, leading the league in Batting Average, Runs Batted In and Home Runs. Twenty-year-old Los Angeles Angels rookie Mike Trout not only had one of the best first seasons ever (unanimously winning Rookie of the Year award), he had one of the best seasons period. Of the so-called five tools (hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning, throwing and fielding), few players of his age have ever exhibited such an array of gifts.

Yesterday, the Major League Baseball Network convened a conclave of baseball experts for a one-hour debate on the matter; that’s how significant it is (at least to lovers of the game). And yesterday Nate posted The Statistical Case Against Cabrera for M.V.P.

The point here is neither Nate’s argument nor the merits of the debate (Cabrera will most likely win, though the best outcome, given how micrometer-close it is, would be for a shared award). The point is that soon after the blog post, hundreds of comments arrived. Not just a few interesting comments mixed with uninformed, borderline psychotic rants, as we’ve come to expect from political posts. This was an amazing collection of intelligent, articulate, deeply researched responses, offering perspectives that even the most attentive fan might not have considered.

That’s why we are happy that Nate returned, at least for the moment, to baseball. And that’s why baseball is, inarguably, better than politics.