By Glen McKee, AngelsWin.com Columnist & Satirist
There have been many important news stories lately –a U-2 spy plane halting flights at LAX, Mariah Carey is about to end her storybook marriage, high school senior pranks gone awry – but nothing is more important than Mike Trout is Slumping! Seriously, he is. He’s striking out more than all of the nerds at Comic-Con combined. Right now, Trout couldn’t score in a whorehouse with a fistful of fifties. It’s bad, it’s horrible. It’s worse than watching the Yankees bitch about a close call that for once doesn’t go their way (suck it, Girardi). With that in mind, we at AngelsWin.com would like to propose some ideas for getting Mike Trout back on track, to turn him back from nerd at Comic-Con to Taylor Lautner or whatever dumb hunk is popular nowadays.
First, we have to state the obvious: Mike Trout slumping is similar to Warren Buffett’s stock portfolio taking a dip or Guy Fieri (it’s just a coincidence that his last name is one letter away from that of our once and future closer and constant source of exasperation, Ernesto Frieri) actually being watchable and entertaining for a moment. It’s an anomaly, something that will most likely correct itself without any outside help. However, in the spirit of angelswin.com and the internet in general I won’t let that stop me from voicing my opinion about how to fix this “problem” that will, given time, fix itself. What, are you new here?
Okay, on with the solutions. This is so obvious that I almost feel embarrassed mentioning it. Shake him up a bit. Ask any couple that’s made it past a few years and they’ll tell you: variety is the key to longevity. Ya gotta spice things up a bit – if you’re gonna have ham for dinner every night, at least use some different spices and find different ways to prepare it. Mmmm, ham – bacon’s ugly cousin. Now where was I? Oh yeah, Trout. First, give him a game off. Don’t worry, the Angels will still be mediocre whether he is in the lineup or not. Let him have a game to sit in the dugout and make fun of the fans in the crowd (come on, you know they do it, especially at your expense, what with that dumb hat you always wear to the game). Let him soak up some knowledge from Scioscia while on the bench. Let him look at the rest of the players on the bench and wonder, as most of us do, who the hell they are and how they got the job. As Scioscia is wont to say, it’s a long season. Give him a rest.
Next, move him up or down in the lineup. Give him a change of scenery, much like a ham steak instead of diced ham, or throwing some new lingerie on the old lady. Let him hit leadoff for a few games, or hell, even put him in the three-hole and move Pujols to the two-hole (yes, that was intentional). Sometimes, putting somebody in a new situation increases their performance. It’s worth a shot, and if the last 14 years have taught us anything it’s that Scioscia has horrible bullpen management…I mean, that Scioscia likes to fiddle with the lineup. We’ve had Raul Ibanez as our cleanup hitter almost all season long; moving Trout around in the lineup won’t blow up the chemistry of the batting order. Trout’s not nitroglycerine that needs to be handled with care; he’s more like a Hummer that you can stick in any situation and have a blast with.
It’s a no-brainer – give the kid a day off and move him around, and the magic will return. I know, some of you out there – let’s call you “baseball fans with even the smallest amount of common sense” – are saying we should just leave Trout alone and he’ll find his way back to Trout Normal. I have a word for people like you: shut up! Trout just needs some stimulation and some motivation. Fixing his minor problems is easier than predicting what will happen when Jeppy is brought in with runners on base. Problems ignored rarely go away, they usually just get worse. Let’s not let Trout get worse/normal.