HBT Weekend Wrapup

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It actually feels like it was a long weekend for me since I took most of Friday to head up to Cleveland and take in the Indians-White Sox on Opening Day at Progressive Field.  It was not the most competitive game in baseball history. Indeed, I’m pretty sure it was 198-0 by the time I settled into my seat (note: the Indians stocked the fridge in the Indians Social Suite on Friday, so my memory of the score may be a bit … skewed).

But bad baseball is still a good thing, so I’d like to thank the Indians for having me up there. And for not revoking my tickets for inviting these guys with me up into the suite for the express purposes of causing trouble in front of team officials and visiting dignitaries. It was awkward for a while — no one likes to be accused of being an honor-free racist — but we all bonded over the fact that this Bob Feller silhouette shirt I met in a bar is pretty fantastic, so it was all good.

Here’s a bit of what else went down this weekend:

I mean, really: this is like O. Henry and Alanis Morrisette had a baby and named it “this exact situation”.

Mike Trout has been really good at baseball lately

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“Water wet,” “Sky blue,” “Dog bites man” and “Mike Trout good” are not exactly newsworthy sentiments, but once in a while you have to state the obvious just so you can look back later and make sure you were, in the moment, aware of the obvious.

And to be fair, “Mike Trout good” is underselling the Angels outfielder lately. He’s on the greatest tear of his great career lately, and dang it, that’s worthy of a few words on this blog.

Last night Trout went a mere 1-for-1, but that’s because the Diamondbacks were smart enough not to pitch to him too much, walking him twice. There was no one on base the first time he came up and he got a free pass. There was a guy on first but two outs the second time, so he was once again not given much to hit and took his base again. Arizona was not so lucky the third time. The bases were loaded and there was nowhere to put Trout. He smacked the first pitch he saw for a two-run single. They probably shoulda just walked him anyway, limiting the damage to one. The last time up he reached on catcher’s interference. Maybe Arizona figured that literally grabbing the bat from him with a catcher’s mitt was the best bet?

If so you can’t blame them, really. Not with the month he’s had. In June, Trout is hitting .448/.554/.776 with five homers. He currently leads the league in the following categories: home runs (23), runs (60), walks (64), on-base percentage (.469), OPS (1.158) OPS+ (219), total bases (179) and intentional walks (9). He currently has a bWAR of 6.5. WAR, in case you did not know, is a cumulative stat. When he won the 2014 MVP Award, he “only” had 7.6 for the entire year.

Sadly, one man does not a team make, so the Angels are only 9-8 in the month of June and have fallen far back of the red-hot Houston Astros and Seattle Mariners in the division race. For this reason I suspect a lot of people are going to do what they’ve long done and overlook Mike Trout’s sheer dominance or, even more ridiculously, claim he is overrated or something (believe me, I’ve seen it even this month).

Feel free to ignore those people and concentrate instead on the greatest baseball player in the game today, who has somehow managed to up his game in recent weeks.