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HumpLinks: LA Angels defeat NL All-Star team

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Trout and Pujols score the first three runs for the AL, as Trout commands the Main Stage with his power and his speed. It's a Mike Trout World of Baseball, and we are only living in it.

Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

It's pretty feeble of me to try and post Big Stories from last night, when only one thing was going on and we were all watching that one thing, and all the best parts of that one thing are well documented all over the place, especially on our own front page. But it is what it is, so let's plow forward.

We can start with a personal observation. As the 2015 All-Star Game opened, while Jack Buck and his fellow TV crew members in the booth were busy slobbering over the amazement that is Zack Greinke of recent outings, it was clear to me that nobody had placed in front of those broadcasters the stat line I shared with all of you yesterday: Trout's slash line against Greinke is .429 / .429 / .857 / 1.286.  We should all have been on alert and focused on Trout instead of Greinke, so Trout's home run caught them by surprise. About 4 replays later a rather subdued broadcast team admits that because they both play in LA and are their Interleague rivals, Trout has seen Greinke before. Oh. Who knew?

A few minutes later I had to run an errand, and I put the game on the radio as I drove. The radio crew covering the game were going on and on about Greinke's mechanics, and how his mastery of his mechanics allows him to hit his location every time. Every. Time. That was when they reported that Pujols had just struck out looking, adding the comment that the location on the Pujols called third strike was the very spot that Greinke intended to hit with the pitch that Trout hit for a homer, except that Greinke missed that location when pitching to Trout.

Thus we have the two broadcast teams working hard to direct their audiences in a direction that turned out to be 180 degrees off the mark, at what turned out to be the most critical and momentous event of the game. They were not trying to ignore Trout. They just got caught doing it.

But we won't. See? Links!

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Angels Baseball

American All-Stars of Anaheim: Fun items:  Mike Trout was the first player to lead off the first inning with a home run since Bo Jackson launched a moonshot in Anaheim in 1989...........But only 4 times in history has a player led off the TOP of the 1st inning on an All-Star Game, and Trout was the first to do this since Joe Morgan in 1977............Mike Trout has now completed the Trout All-Star Cycle. He has hit for a cycle in his initial at-bat in each of the last 4 All-Star Games...........The first three runs from the American league were all scored by LA Angels: Trout, the Trout again, then Albert Pujols. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3, Major League All-Stars of the National League 2..............Mike Trout is the very first back-to-back winner of the MLB All-Star Game MVP in history. (Of the 55 All-Star MVP awards issued, 5 of them were active Angels at the time - Luis Wagner, Fred Lynn, Garrett Anderson, and Mike Trout twice.).............If there is one guy on planet earth right now that does not need to bother taking the pictures of himself, it's Mike Trout.............By the time this is all over, Trout may need his own wing the Hall of Fame..............You would think that if there was one player these days that a photographer should focus on and wait for, it would be Trout................But then, one might need to forgive a photographer. Because Trout is almost faster than light.............

BooBirds: Albert Pujols is clearly feeling it, and having fun. As members of the Cardinals were being introduced in pre-game ceremonies last night, the Cincinnati fans had a gas and booed them. Booed them all. Pujols, already out on the field after being introduced as the AL starting first baseman, jumped in and joined the crowd, booing away with glee. You will also notice in the link that Pujols was booed by the Reds fans as well, but spent time pointing out that he is not a Card, but an Angel!..............

Fantastic Four: The MLB fan voting for Greatest Players, and each franchise's "Franchise Four", has been announced. the full list is here, but the quick jump to the LAA Quality Quad is Trout, Vladdie, KingFish and the Von Ryan Express............

Trout Porn, From Afar: Troutness is now fermenting its own hagiography, as The New Face of Baseball takes over. Mike Trout stole the show at the All-Star Game again, is the best.  "That he happened to perform better than anyone else in All-Star Games for consecutive years means close to nothing, because, again, baseball is dominated by randomness and even terrible players have great nights. But in any baseball game Mike Trout plays, he has the best chance of anyone to perform better than anyone else, for Trout is the best baseball player in the world."...............

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Elsewhere in Baseball

Fast Bucks: Even as the game was going on, MLB was working hard to cash in. They had people buy running around grabbing game-used items and taking photos and posting those up for immediate auction. This includes the baseball that Albert Pujols stared at for strike 3 in his first at-bat.............

Expansion: If there is one last thing that could happen to bless Mike Trout and Major League Baseball, it would be for MLB to expand during the back half of Trout's career, thereby diluting pitching staffs and boosting offenses everywhere. And this might just be possible. Commissioner Manfred admitted that MLB is oen to expansion, and has a formal list of candidate cities at the ready.............

Bring Your Own Handi-Wipes: Hey Mike, you just own a car and a crystal bat! Do you have any idea where that bat has been lately???

How the Mighty Have Fallen: While Hector Santiago didn't get into the All-Star Game, ex-Halo hero Frankie Rodriguez surely did. That did not go well. Ruh-Roh. My prediction years ago (before KRod asked for a big raise which went unsatisfied, resulting in his departure from Scioscialogy) that he would set the all-time save record and make the HoF is now embarrassingly off the mark - and that is even before we get into his out-of-control personal life. My bad.............

No More Clowning Around: Bryce Harper is having a tough time living down the reputation of Bryce Harper. There shall be no further mention of clown in the presence of The Bryce..............

Never Forget: One-time Halo Darren O'Day made it to the All-Star game, representing the Orioles as a reliever. And he took the memory of Nick Adenhart with him. "The road to his first All-Star game was long and challenging, and he wanted to share the journey with an old friend.  So he grabbed a marker, turned his game cap upside down, and wrote this beneath the bill: NA 34."............