The Orioles put up a billboard in D.C. Some people have a problem with this


When I lived in Washington D.C. there was a team in Montreal and no team in the District, so seeing and hearing about the Orioles around town wasn’t a big deal. Apparently that’s changed a bit in the past decade. To the point where the Orioles putting up a billboard in Washington has ruffled some feathers. JP Finlay of has a report on that and on fan reaction.

The last time we heard of this kind of kerfuffle it was in Los Angeles when the Angels were seen putting up billboards in L.A. proper, and it was seen by many as a symbol for the waning influence of the Dodgers under Frank McCourt and the ascendance of the boys from Anaheim. Personally, I think that reads too much into that or any similar situation.

The reality: billboards are cheap advertising.

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

Rob Tringali/Getty Images

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 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.