A penetrating promotion of Mike Trout is an endeavor that has been long thought impossible by MLB Advanced Media and the mainstream sports journalistic community. His noninflammatory manner, humble upbringing, and no-nonsense focus on the sport he loves have been deemed too old school to appeal to the particular young and wide-eyed fan base that Rob Manfred and, most importantly, the financiers of the MLB wish to tap.
Through some very irate and outspoken fans of both the Angels and baseball in general, however, Trout’s name has been aggressively and repetitively shoved down the throats of social media users over the past several weeks. This was largely instigated by the American League Player of the Week being awarded to a fantastic but wholly unworthy Evan Gattis.
Numerous possibilities for the marketing of Trout have been presented, not the least of which is this gem:
Until there is an 80 foot tall statue of Trout at the entrance to every stadium, we have not appreciated him enough https://t.co/LlcjbZrXF0— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) June 21, 2018
The Twitterverse could not be prepared for the genius that was to be injected into it approximately half a week later, though. Interestingly, Halos Heaven’s very own Rahul Setty was the masterful theorist who posted it.
you ever think that mlb would market mike trout better if he had a different name? like giorgio, mack, or tisch— Rahul Setty (@RahulSetty_) June 25, 2018
probably not, but it's interesting to think about
Now, this is interesting. Does one think of George Herman Ruth, Jr. or does one imagine “The Babe?” Do George Kelly, Charles Radbourn, and Joseph Jackson ring the same bells that “High Pockets Kelly,” “Old Hoss Radbourn,” and “Shoeless Joe” do?
Mike Trout isn’t even the single season WAR leader for Major League Baseball players with the last name Trout (yet)! Paul Howard “Dizzy” Trout, who placed second in MVP voting in 1944 as a pitcher, even had a catchy and easily distinguishable pseudonym that he would take on when on the mound or crushing baseballs at the plate.
A gripping, distinctive baseball moniker can go a long way. Mike Stanton reverted to his birth name of Giancarlo and, at present, he is arguably a household name. Ichiro’s agent revised his name to a Cher-like single word in a clever PR move and it worked like a charm. “Giancarlo” and “Ichiro” stand out in a conversation. They perk your ears up.
A name might not be quite enough though if the player doesn’t distinguish himself with regular jaw-dropping 450+ foot bombs or a 242-hit rookie season. Mike Trout is consistently fantastic in all facets of his game, but rarely wows the average fan with incredible in-game or even season-long feats.
This has not kept fans from trying. The masses with baseball knowledge have been quick to jump on Trout’s love for the weather and have made their appropriately cliché nicknames, “The Millville Meteor” fabrication entirely constructed on Wikipedia by deceptive and crafty SomethingAwful users was once a thing, and others just call him his full name because they’re probably his mother. Yet nothing has been truly effective in the effort to make him a household name.
Audiences crave the hype from which the hook derives. But how exactly do you build that? I believe that the greatest to ever lift a bat doesn’t just need a name change to become the face of baseball. Mike Trout needs...
1. Vinnie “The Neck” Trout
Betts jumped at the sound of his name. “Whaja say, boss?”
“Close your head, ya mook! I was talking to this lunkhead Judge!” Vicente Trout (or as his few friends called him, Neck) palmed the quarter he had been flipping in aggravation and straightened up. These dinguses were going to be the death of him, he thought to himself as he pulled the cigar from his lips. He needed to be very clear now. Time was running short.
“Now listen, ya great palooka,” he directed at the lumbering muscle of the organization as Betts turned back to resume watching the All-Star Game. “When Giuseppe steps up to the plate, you cause a distraction here in the dugout. Then the fuzz will eject you from the game. Meanwhile, Sugar over here will nick second, and with no second base the heat will have to put an early end to the game!”
The scheme to put an early cancellation to what was already a clear blowout loss was foolproof. Unfortunately for the American League, Judge had a knack for succeeding at failing where others had fallen short. Why, just one year prior, he had lost the coveted MVP that his boss had outright handed to him. He smiled absent-mindedly, thinking of pinstripes no doubt, as the furious Neck snapped his fingers up at him in irritation.
“Judge! JUDGE! Ya goon! Have you heard anything I’ve said?” He kicked the row of tommy guns propped up neatly on the wall next to the bench and crushed his cigar in his fist.
“Uh, sure, boss,” the colossus replied hesitantly. “But, uh, which Giuseppe are you talking about? The NL has like 4.”
“YOU GIANT MUG, I’M TALKING ABOUT VOTTO! I’M GONNA— Oh, he’s coming up to bat!”
“Sugar” Segura, laced up his cleats and stretched his getaway sticks as the American League readied itself for the heist of the millennium.
Mark Gubicza, microphone in hand, turned from atop the pitcher’s mound amid cheers of adulation toward the Angels dugout and slowly raised his hand in a show of grandeur.
“And in this corner...” his voice boomed through all of the southern California metropolitan area. He paused for dramatic effect.
“...The Pernicious Pleco...”
“...The Hazardous Halibut...”
“...Putting the ‘Mega’ in ‘Megalodon...’”
“The Sea King Neptune, himself...!”
Gubicza, with a flair for showmanship, handed the microphone to his companion, Victor Rojas, for the big finish.
“At this time, ladies and gentlemen, please avert your children’s eyes as what you are about to witness may not be suitable for all viewers.”
“Straight out of what is now the wreckage formerly known as New Jersey, we present to you...”
Gubi and Victor leaned in as one and shouted in perfect unison.
“LUUUUUUUUH VYYYYYYYYY ATHANNNNNNNNNNN!”
Fireworks blasted, cannons exploded, thundersticks annoyed, and the crowd went berserk as the hulking Godfish strode to the plate. And underneath the deafening excitement, a hardcore cover of Ween’s Ocean Man could not be made out.
3. Bae Trout
Ha. Babe Ruth and Bae Trout. I get it.