A lot of you responded to the Peter Gammons news yesterday by saying something like “Good! Now that Boston homer can do his Boston homer stuff!” Well, you’re not 100% wrong. Gammons, speaking to Chad Finn of the Boston Globe:
“A big part of it is that I just want to be home more . . . it’s very much a lifestyle thing . . . I grew up a New Englander, and I want to be part of my hometown. I
still live in Boston. I’m a part of my community, and I want to
continue to be part of my community.”
Presumably he’ll get the Boston stuff out of his system with the NESN part of his new life and will continue to be more of a generalist at MLB.com and MLB Network. Oh, and about those suggestions that ESPN-fatigue had something to do with it?
“A lot of people said to me today, ‘You know, you must have negative
feelings about ESPN.’ That’s so far from the reality. Some of the best friends I have ever had are there. The people from
ESPN were tremendous, and I truly loved working with them.'”
Gammons is a classy guy so he’d say that even if he left in a storm of acrimony, but I’ve heard nothing since yesterday to suggest he isn’t being straight up here.
Everyone is well aware of how good Angels outfielder Mike Trout is at the game of baseball. The 26-year-old is already an all-time great, having won two MVP awards — and arguably deserving of two others — and the 2012 Rookie of the Year Award. He has accrued 54.2 WAR, per Baseball Reference, which is right around the threshold for a Hall of Fame career. Trout does it all: he draws walks, he hits for average, he hits for power, he steals bases, he plays good defense.
But here’s an achievement that is amazing even for a player like Trout: he has yet to strike out this spring. In 41 Cactus League plate appearances, he has 10 hits (including a triple and two homers) and six walks with zero strikeouts. Across his career, Trout has a 21.5 percent strikeout rate, right around the league average. He isn’t usually such a stickler for avoiding the punch-out, but this spring he is.
To put this in perspective, 134 players this spring have struck out at least 10 times, according to MLB.com. 938 players have struck out at least once. The only other players to have taken at least 10 at-bats without striking out this spring are Humberto Arteaga (Royals, 23 AB), Tony Cruz (Reds, 18 AB), Oscar Hernandez (Red Sox, 10 AB), and Jacob Stallings (Pirates, 18 AB).
According to Angels assistant hitting coach Paul Sorrento, the lack of strikeouts hasn’t been a conscious effort from Trout, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reports. Ho hum. The best player in baseball is apparently getting even better.