Mike Trout is a very popular guy right now. And not just because he is widely considered as one of the top position prospects in the game.
No, you see, the 19-year-old outfielder was the innocent victim of a prank this afternoon by his Angels’ teammates.
According to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times, a message popped up on the right field scoreboard multiple times during today’s exhibition game against the Athletics inviting those in attendance to call “Mike Trout directly with your baseball questions.” They were even nice enough to include Trout’s real cell phone number.
And just who was the mastermind behind this little scheme? Last year’s AL strikeout king Jered Weaver.
Cold blooded? Yes. But every guy needs to get knocked down a few pegs every once in a while. You know, just to keep them honest.
Welcome to the bigs, kid. At least for a little while.
Baseball is a young man’s game. Whereas, a few short years ago, teams went into battle with a lot of guys with ten or twelve years of experience under their belt, these days such veterans are a dying breed. Whether you chalk it up to teams favoring youth because youth is less expensive, the game simply favoring younger, more athletic players, the decline in PED use among ballplayers or some combination of all three, the fact is that it’s better to be 23 in Major League Baseball these days than 33.
Turner is 33 — he turns 34 in November — yet he remains at or near the top of his game. It’s been a shorter season than usual for him due to an injury that cost him all of April and part of May, but his production when healthy remains at a near-MVP level. He’s hitting .318/.413/.525 on the year, and his return coincided with the Dodgers shaking off their early-season doldrums. Now, with his help, they are on the verge of yet another NL West title.
Not only that, but he’s doing that while holding down a second job!