The Colorado Rockies did something yesterday that many MLB fans have undoubtedly been wanting to say. After the League’s latest “I love Mike Trout” post, The team called the League out on Twitter for its excessive hyping of the Flying Fish.
For those who don’t know, Trout turned 26 on Monday and celebrated by belting a homer against Baltimore. And, as one could expect by now, the MLB went gaga.
I’m sure no one was surprised by this obvious display of MLB media’s obsession with the slugging LA Angels outfielder. But a response from the official Twitter of the Colorado Rockies spoke even louder.
Last week, Rockie Mark Reynolds hit a home run on his birthday, but the MLB’s twitter didn’t even acknowledge it. Colorado pointed this out and, to its credit, did it without attitude.
Don’t misinterpret it, though. Reynolds is enjoying a solid renaissance season in Denver, but he is not at all on Trout’s level. Colorado isn’t saying that he is, but rather poignantly demonstrating the League’s immense over-selling of one of its top stars. And it’s a completely true point.
Mike Trout is an incredible talent and one of the best players of the modern era of Major League Baseball, no one can deny that. Just having turned 26, Trout hasn’t not been an MVP finalist in any of his first five seasons and has deserved every accolade he’s received (well, besides last year’s MVP, we’ll get to that). He and Bryce Harper are two generational talents in one generation and the duo are often called the co-faces of baseball.
But though Harper receives his fair share of hype, the prodigy turned MLB stalwart gets no where near as much as Trout. The Rockies pointed out one of the biggest problems with today’s MLB: certain players get way too much attention, and Trout is exhibit A.
Every professional sports organization needs to market its top stars; it’s an accepted fact. However, there are plenty of star players in Major League Baseball that are often robbed of the limelight because MLB media loves giving it to Trout so much. Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt, Freddie Freeman, Matt Carpenter and Andrew McCutchen are just a handful of players that get nowhere near the amount of attention they deserve because it’s constantly on the same cast of characters. It extends to awards too.
Trout was awarded AL MVP by the BBWAA last year, the second of his career. He did have a very good season, but considering that fellow finalists Jose Altuve and Mookie Betts both posted better numbers in several categories, his victory felt undeserved. Altuve batted .338 to Trout’s .315, and while Betts posted a only slightly higher average (.318), he also had more RBI and home runs. Somehow, Trout still took home the hardware.
I’ve also read that many people apparently think that Trout also should have been MVP in his Rookie of the Year 2012 season. You know, the year that Miguel Cabrera won it because he recorded the first batting triple crown in 45 years? Calling Trout overrated would be inaccurate, rather over-hyped. The guy is one incredible player, but based off the pedestal the League puts him on, you’d think he could walk on water and resurrect the dead too.
It’s tough to hold this against Trout, because it really isn’t his fault. You can argue that he’s a tad smug, but the guy represents the game very well and doesn’t crave the spotlight like some players of the past. I didn’t realize it until the day of, but I noticed that I was very happy that Trout wasn’t at the All-Star Game this year just so that I wouldn’t have to listen to Joe Buck salivating over him for five innings. I can’t help but feel like I dislike the guy, but not as a result of anything he did.
Now don’t get me wrong here. Trout may be very over-appreciated by MLB media, but he’s not at all the only one. Robinson Cano, Manny Machado, Nelson Cruz, Adam Jones and Clayton Kershaw are just a few players who also receive a disproportionate amount of the spotlight. Trout may be a big example, but there’s plenty more.
The MLB is always looking to build new stars to one day bear the flag, and it certainly has. But if they were more generous with the spotlight, they’d have many more of those kinds of players.