Why Doesn’t The World Know Who Mike Trout is?

Mike Trout is easily the best player in the MLB. He has already surpassed several Hall of Famers in WAR, and he is only 26. He’s been nothing short of spectacular since his rookie year, and the scary thing is he’s improving every year. So that begs the question, why isn’t the MLB promoting Mike Trout like their life depends on it?

The easiest answer is that the MLB just plain sucks at marketing its superstars. If you are not an avid baseball fan, like me, then you may have trouble naming some of the best players in the league, especially if they play in a small market. The average sports fan should know exactly who Mike Trout plays for and how good he has been over the past seven seasons. Instead, they know he exists and that he is good, they don’t know that he is historically great. If Mike Trout was in the NFL or NBA he would be nationally known to sports fans and non-sports fans.

Another reason could be that he doesn’t play for any of the teams that actually do get frequently covered like the Red Sox, Yankees, Dodgers, and Cubs. Mike Trout’s own team is also not helping him. The Angels have been pretty mediocre during Trout’s career. He has only seen the Postseason once, and his team was swept out of the playoffs. Another part of being on the Angels that hurts Mike Trout is the West Coast time zone. A lot of the country doesn’t get a chance to see Trout because they are already in bed. The West Coast games don’t usually make it on to national television.

Some of those reasons are to be expected. The national media will always pick favorite teams that get a majority of the attention. That doesn’t make any excuses for the MLB not making the Angels one of those teams though. The Angels have been trying to get a winning team around Trout but so far this year they have been plagued by injuries and some bad contracts. Mike Trout playing on the West coast should not be a roadblock either for the MLB promoting their best player and a future Hall of Famer. Some giant stars have been on the West Coast and it hasn’t stopped the NBA or NFL.

Commissioner Rob Manfred recently said that Mike Trout has to market himself better. That is not his primary job. Trout is also very active in his community. He is an excellent role model for kids everywhere. Mike Trout is extremely talented and extremely humble. Mike Trout has done his part in marketing himself. He has deals with Nike and Subway among other companies. He needs the extra push from his sport to push him into international superstardom. There has not been a talent like him, putting up the consistent historically great seasons that he has put up in a very long time.

MLB… PLEASE market Mike Trout like your life depends on it.

– Guest Writer, Brett Grashorn

Photo Credit HERE

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Kansas City Royals: The End of an Era

Being a Royals fan, I’ve had some pretty good experiences watching baseball the past couple seasons. The Royals brought up highly touted prospects up from the minors and they developed pretty nicely. I was able to watch those players grow and improve and build a winning culture in Kansas City. I experienced the heartbreaking loss in Game 7 of the 2014 World Series when the Royals were “this” close to winning. That gut wrenching loss was made up for the very next year when Kansas City defeated the Mets in five games. And now I get to watch all my favorite players from those teams move on from the Royals.

The Royals weren’t always as competitive as they’ve been for the past couple years. In fact, they were awful. Luckily I was too young to realize just how awful they were. But during that stretch of mediocre baseball, there was a GM with a process even before Sam Hinkie came along for the 76ers. That man is Dayton Moore. When he first became the GM for the Royals, he promised the people of Kansas City a World Championship. That seemed pretty unrealistic for where the team was at, at the time. But he built the team through the draft and developed a team that fits Kauffman Stadium.

Looking back at the World Series teams for the Royals, they were loaded with talent. You had your defensive wizards Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez, your speedsters Jarrod Dyson, Terrance Gore and Paulo Orlando, your big sluggers Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas and Kendrys Morales, and the focal point of the team, the lockdown relievers Wade Davis, Greg Holland and Kelvin Herrera. Those teams were really special.

The two playoff runs the Royals had in 2014 and 2015 were magical. There were countless moments of clutch hitting and pitching, comeback after comeback. In 2014 there is the infamous Wild Card game, the exciting sweeps of the Los Angeles Angels and Baltimore Orioles. And if it weren’t for possibly the best World Series pitcher ever, the Royals would have won the World Series. My heart was broken when Alex Gordon was stranded on third as the tying run.

The next year, the Royals showed that the previous year was no fluke, they came out swinging any way they possibly could. Kansas City was in first place for most of the year and they got the 1 seed in the AL. There they ran into the young Astros, who gave them a really good fight but the Royals managed to squeak by even though it seemed as if the season was over in the 8th inning of Game 4. The Royals were down by 5 runs and everyone in the lineup contributed to the effort of forcing a Game 5, that they would then win. After that the Royals were matched up against the Toronto Blue Jays, an offensive juggernaut that they were able to keep quiet for most of the six game series.

WTOP

Two World Series in a row, there was no way that this team was going to lose both. The Royals handled business against the Mets the same way they had during all the other series, timely hitting, spectacular defense and an unhittable bullpen. The moment strike three was called in the 12th inning of Game 5 my arms went straight up, much like what Wade Davis did after he threw the last pitch. It was the first championship that I had experienced as a hardcore fan of any team.

Those days are long gone now. So many key pieces of those teams are gone. James Shields and Billy Butler left for Free Agency after the 2014 Series. Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto did what they were supposed to do as rentals and left after the 2015 season. Kendrys Morales and Edinson Volquez hit free agency after the 2016 season and Wade Davis and Jarrod Dyson were traded in the offseason after the 2016 season. The hardest moment was the news of Yordano Ventura’s passing, he was a beloved figure in Kansas City with still so much potential that wasn’t able to be fulfilled. This past offseason has seen Eric Hosmer go to the Padres, Lorenzo Cain go to the Brewers and Mike Moustakas remains unsigned while I’m typing this and it is very unlikely he returns to KC.

There are still some members of the championship team left as the Royals look to rebuild for a few years. Salvador Perez is still behind the plate and won’t be going anywhere for a while, if ever. Alex Gordon and his Gold Gloves are still roaming the outfield at Kauffman Stadium, Danny Duffy, a reliever for the championship team, is now the teams Ace, Alcides Escobar was brought back on a one year deal to stay at shortstop for the time being and Kelvin Herrera is still throwing heat out of the bullpen for Kansas City.

It’s going to suck having to experience all the losing after so much success. But I will have good memories to look back on and no matter what the record, nothing can beat watching the Kansas City Royals.

 
– Brett Grashorn (Guest Writer)

Why Your Favorite Team Won’t Win The World Series

As fans, we go into every season wanting to think that our team is going to be hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy at the end of the year no matter how out of reach it actually is. I am going to make it easy on you and tell you right now that your team won’t win the World Series… Probably.

I’ve put all the teams into four categories, the clubs that don’t stand a chance, the teams that can do it but need everything to go perfectly, the teams that will be really good and will contend but will fall short, and the teams that are the real deal when it comes to winning the World Series.

Not a Chance

Miami Marlins: It is amazing that the Marlins can still field a team after the trades they made this offseason.

San Diego Padres: Wil Myers can’t do this himself, Padres fans just need to hope that the rebuild continues to go good.

Atlanta Braves: A successful season for Atlanta this year would be to get some of the top prospects up and acclimated to the majors.

Kansas City Royals: As a Royals fan this one pains me to say but the Royals won’t win it all unless they can recapture the magic of 2015 with most of the core gone.

Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera could return to form and get himself another Triple Crown and  the Tigers would still struggle to finish at .500.

Chicago White Sox: Much like the Braves, the White Sox need to get their prospects use to Major League ball.

Pittsburgh Pirates: The post McCutchen era in Pittsburgh will start out with a lot of losses, especially after also losing Gerrit Cole. But they did get some decent pieces from the Astros that could help in a short turnaround for the Buccos.

Philadelphia Phillies: Don’t be surprised if the Phillies do a little better than what their roster looks like, but they are still a long way away from a title.

Cincinnati Reds: With a really young team around superstar Joey Votto, the Reds will be bad again but if they can get solid years from players like Raisel Iglesias and Scooter Gennett again they can cash in on some trades to help the rebuild.

Just Maybe

Minnesota Twins: The Twins are young and they managed to squeak into the playoffs because of how horrid the AL Wild Card race was in 2017. This year it will be a lot tougher get in to the playoffs with 85 wins, especially since the Twins haven’t made too many big additions.

Toronto Blue Jays: The Blue Jays time to contend for a World Series has passed. Toronto’s current roster is starting to decline despite having several players that were on the teams that made back to back ALCS appearances.

Baltimore Orioles: It will be tough for the Orioles to finish anywhere but last in the AL East even with a comeback year for Manny Machado and a healthy Zach Britton. Look for the O’s to attempt to cash in on Machado at the Trade Deadline before he becomes a free agent after the season.

Texas Rangers: A team that finished under .500 and doesn’t have their two best pitchers, according to WAR, from last year will always struggle the following year. The 2018 Rangers are no exception.

Oakland Athletics: The A’s have a nice mix of promising young players to go along with some solid veterans. They will be better than you might think but they are not ready to contend yet.

Tampa Bay Rays: It seems that every year the Rays belong in the Not a Chance category, but every year they surprise me with a solid year. Despite them doing better than expected, they will not win the World Series, especially after trading Longo.

Contenders

Boston Red Sox: The Red Sox return most of the squad that finished first in the AL East last year, but the Yankees improved their team and the Sox will have to rely on players like David Price and Rick Porcello to have bounce back seasons and will need relievers not named Craig Kimbrel to step up with good years. They have also been mentioned in talks for both J.D Martinez and Eric Hosmer, if they sign either one they get moved to the Real Deal category.

Los Angeles Angels: The Angels are the biggest question amongst the Contenders. They obviously have the best player in baseball in Mike Trout, but will be relying on Justin Upton to have a repeat of 2017 to help Trout carry the offense. The Halos also have a below average pitching staff that Shohei Ohtani won’t be able to carry.

Seattle Mariners: The Mariners have been called a sleeper team to win the World Series for a couple of years in a row. They have failed every year. This year will be no different with aging stars, Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz.

New York Mets: The Mets should be better than last year after being plagued with injuries. Getting their players healthy will not win them the World Series sadly, as the front office did not make enough moves to bolster the roster.

St. Louis Cardinals: The Cardinals bring back close to the same squad last year plus Marcell Ozuna after whiffing on pretty much any free agent they tried to sign. They did lose some major pitching pieces though. The Cards let Lance Lynn walk and let two of their top relievers in Trevor Rosenthal and Seung-hwan Oh go.

Milwaukee Brewers: The Brewers had probably the best day of the off-season trading for Christian Yelich and signing Lorenzo Cain. Despite loading their outfield full of talent, the pitching staff in Milwaukee will hold this team back from hoisting the Commissioner’s Trophy.

Arizona Diamondbacks: A surprise team last year, the D-Backs haven’t done anything to improve the team. Even if they bring J.D Martinez back, they will again get bounced by a better team like the Cubs or Dodgers in the postseason.

Colorado Rockies: In 2017 the Rockies got some pitching performances that matched the normal offensive production of the team. Adding one of the best relievers in Wade Davis also doesn’t hurt their chances, but they are in a really tough division and can very easily fall back below .500.

San Francisco Giants: The Giants have put together a Super Team….. If it was 2014. And they won the World Series that year! I’m not saying that guys like Andrew McCutchen and Evan Longoria are bad players but they are both getting older and slowly declining and the Giants don’t have to many talented young players to compliment the veterans.

Real Deal

New York Yankees: The Yankees made the biggest offseason move, acquiring MVP Giancarlo Stanton. They are also one of the tougher teams to think of reasons on why the won’t win the World Series, but a lot of their success came from breakout years from phenom Aaron Judge and relievers like Chad Green and Tommy Kahnle, all of which could easily show regression in 2018 and slow the team down.

Cleveland Indians: If it weren’t for a historic winning streak, that will be near impossible to repeat in 2018, the Tribe would have barely won the terrible AL Central. Cleveland also lost middle of the lineup bats Carlos Santana and Jay Bruce.

Washington Nationals: You would think the Nationals would just want to get over the hump of winning an NLDS series before they think World Series, but with Bryce Harper in a walk year that is not an option for the Nats. This team is too good to not at least make a really good run at a championship. The Nationals will end up falling short this year on the simple fact that they just can’t quite get it done when it matters most.

Chicago Cubs: The Cubs signed Yu Darvish. Based on 2017 that will be the reason they won’t win their second championship in 3 years. The real reason the Cubs won’t win it all in 2018 is the lack of a lock down reliever to give the ball at the end of the game after losing Wade Davis in Free Agency.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The Dodgers didn’t re-sign the guy that arguably lost them the World Series last year in Yu Darvish, but losing him could make it harder for LA to make it back to the Fall Classic in 2018.

Houston Astros: It is tough to win back to back World Series, just ask every winner since 2000. The Astros did a lot to try and prevent that but we’ve seen a World Series hangover from the past couple of teams to win it all. Houston will be a great team and are the clear favorites in 2018 but don’t be surprised if the Astros fall short this season.

– Brett Grashorn (Guest Writer)