Mike Trout turned down the opportunity to represent the USA in this year’s World Baseball Classic, and while this decision didn’t surprise fans or baseball writers in the slightest, it still was worthy of all the sad trombones and heavy sighs the world has to offer.
The thing about these high-profile, sports world extracurricular activities is that, quite often, the best of the best just don’t want to participate. The NBA analogy would be saying how LeBron James has never been in an NBA All Star Weekend dunk contest, no matter how much the people want to see it; Mike Trout has already given us a similar taste of this, only in his case, it’s his refusal to do the homerun derby.
On a bigger scale, though, is his refusal to join Team USA in this year’s much-anticipated WBC, but it’s not like he’s alone. A large swath of MLB’s biggest stars don’t want to take part in the event, either. But what happens when everybody is talking about the WBC, and the highly-contested games are being watched not only by fans, but by the players back home or from their respective spring training digs?
Well, if you’re Mike Trout, you see that fun, that revelry, the intense rivalry, and you suddenly realize you want a piece of that action. In an article this morning, Trout told LA Times’ Mike Digiovanna that he’s had a change of heart on the WBC matter, mostly after seeing how much fun is being had out there. He sees a competitive baseball party going down, and that’s all it took for him to realize he’s got to get in on it.
And that’s great news for baseball fans and Team USA! The sports’ biggest and best player, finally joining the World Baseball Classic fray. The downside? We have to wait til 2021. So, yeah...we can still go crazy over this year’s WBC, but we are going to have to hang tight for a few years if we want to see Trout taking part. This is going to be a boon for the WBC, for the obvious Trout-related reasons, but also because it might light a fire under other MLB studs (like Kris Bryant or Bryce Harper) to join in the fun.
More stars in the World Baseball Classic is good for the WBC, good for baseball in general, and for the fans, it’s a dream come true. The 2021 event can’t come soon enough. Trout will be playing for the USA...what’s more American than Mike Trout and baseball?!
Now we just have to worry about which team he’ll be taking time off from to play for Team USA. Will it still be the Angels? Nope, no...not gonna think about that right now.