Great Moments in Smearing Ballplayers for Imagined PED Use


You’ve seen those listicles on your Facebook feed, I’m sure. They’re everywhere. And I’m not gonna hate on them too much because (a) everyone’s gotta eat, and it’s not like most of us are paying Facebook anything out of pocket; and (b) some of those lists can be guilty pleasures.

I mean, no, I don’t care about the Ten Things I Didn’t Know About “Forrest Gump,” but I was sort of intrigued by the list of Actors who Refuse to Work With Each Other. And like a lot of you, I’m a sucker for anything to do with Child Stars Gone Bad. Everyone likes to waste time and everyone’s mileage varies, so live and let live in the vast, ridiculous Internet Content Factories in which we all either toil, partake from time to time or [gasp] even sorta like.

Here’s one, however, that doesn’t exactly fit my tastes:


While I’m certainly not above clickbait, I’m not giving those guys the satisfaction of your clicks given that they’re trafficking in libelesque nonsense. They’re probably legally safe — heck, Rick Reilly and a lot of others played in this sandbox for years and never got sued somehow — but it’s certainly low rent. Even for spammy clickbait.

(thanks to Dave Merrell for the heads up)

Mike Trout has yet to strike out this spring

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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.