Happy Birthday Mike Trout!!

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Doesn’t it seem like athletes always do something special on their birthday?? Well, the world’s best baseball player certainly followed that trend. Monday night, Mike Trout celebrated his 26th birthday. Yes, Mike Trout, the 2-time MVP, is only 26. And what better way to celebrate than collect your 1000th career hit, right??

Trout stepped to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning and promptly ripped a double down the left-field line (as pictured above). And just like that, Trout became one of the youngest players to reach 1000 hits. That distinction belongs to Ty Cobb (24 years, 145 days). Trout’s evening didn’t stop there. In the bottom of the 6th inning, Trout smashed a home-run off the left-field foul pole. Despite his historic evening, the Los Angeles Angels fell to the Baltimore Orioles 6-2.

While the Angels are 3 games under .500 (55-58), they stand just 3 games back of the 2nd Wild Card in the American League. Remember when there was only 1 Wild Card?? Better yet, do you remember when there was NO Wild Card?! Such a simpler time….

Anyway, it’s likely the Angels would be in a far better position to make the playoffs if Trout hadn’t gotten injured earlier in the season. Trout has missed 45 of the Angels’ 113 games this year thanks to a torn ligament in his thumb and a minor hamstring issue.

The craziest thing is Mike Trout still has a chance to win the AL MVP. There are only 3 players in the running for AL MVP:

1.) Jose Altuve – .364/16 hr/63 rbi/24 sb

2.) Aaron Judge – .299/35 hr/78 rbi/6 sb

3.) Mike Trout – .346/23 hr/52 rbi/ 13 sb

Jose Altuve is the most underrated player in MLB. Standing just 5’6″ tall, Altuve is a 5-tool player. He is the best player, on the best team, in the American League. If the season ended today, Altuve would undoubtedly be the AL MVP.

Aaron Judge is having a historical season. He is running away with the AL Rookie of the Year Award, and despite his current slump is still entrenched in the race for the AL MVP. The next 52 games will test Judge’s ability to handle adversity, in the Fall, in New York.

Mike Trout remains the best baseball player in the world. Trout’s impressive stat-line through 68 games speaks to his unparalleled talent level. Trout, when healthy, will always be in the MVP race, however, it’ll be interesting to see how the MVP voters judge (see what I did there?) Trout if he continues this pace down the stretch.

To see Mike Trout’s incredible career stats, click here.

Trout’s next milestone is rapidly approaching, as he is just 9 home runs shy of 200. We shouldn’t have to wait until his 27th birthday for that.

 

Can Mike Trout still win the AL MVP?? Who do you think will win the AL MVP?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

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Why Use Your Head When You Can Use Your Feet??

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If I told you something you did everyday was dangerous, would you stop doing it?? Oh..you wouldn’t believe me?? Okay, okay. Well, what if I could prove it, ya know with facts?? Okay, so then you’d stop?? Cool. So why do baseball players still slide headfirst into a base or home plate?? Other than players thinking it looks cool, I have no freakin’ clue.

Seriously though, players believe it is faster and more effective than sliding feetfirst. Wrong. And wrong again. In 2011, Al Figone performed a study for Collegiate Baseball. He diagnosed all injuries (in MLB) caused by sliding, both headfirst and feetfirst. He found sliding headfirst caused nearly 40% more injuries than sliding feetfirst. The study also proved sliding headfirst only shaved .01 seconds (on average) off each slide. Also, in case of an errant throw, it is far easier to pop-up from a feetfirst slide. This would allow the runner to advance to the next base, while the headfirst slide leaves the runner busy wiping dirt off the front of their jersey. Your honor, the defense rests.

In certain cases, depending on the throw, will sliding headfirst be beneficial?? I’m sure it will be. But, the overwhelming majority of the time, the base-runner is playing with fire. Now kids..do you know what happens when you play with fire?? That’s right..you get burned. Very goooood. Take the most recent, headfirst slide casualties; Mike Trout and Gleyber Torres.

Mike Trout is the best baseball player in the whole wide world. He decided a long time ago he wouldn’t be sliding feetfirst, ummm, ever. He said, “it never felt comfortable”. It’s hard to argue with Trout, as talented as he is, but his latest headfirst slide did land him on the DL (for the 1st time in his career). On May 28th, Trout tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb, as he stole 2nd base (as pictured above). He had successful surgery, and his recovery is ahead of schedule (obviously). When asked if he will change the way he slides, he simply responded, “I’ll need to have more control when I dive headfirst from now on”.

And then there is New York Yankees’ top prospect, Gleyber Torres. Senor Torres will be undergoing Tommy John Surgery after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. I’ll give you one guess as to how that happened….

You got that right!! He tore up his elbow sliding headfirst into home plate on Monday. It is sad to see a player sustain this type of injury at anytime, but it is especially triste (that’s Spanish for sad) since Torres was on the fast track to the Majors this season. He was playing everyday for Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate Scranton Wilkes-Barre, and he was tearing it up. No pun intended. The reports say he’ll be ready for Spring Training in 2018. Hopefully he learns his lesson faster than Mr. Trout.

Habits are formed. New information surfaces. Habits evolve….hopefully.

Do you think players should slide feetfirst more?? Or do you enjoy watching headfirst slides?? Tell me your thoughts in the comment section below.

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