- Oct 1, 2015
Ah yes, I see where you're going. And I agree.I can buy that Trout hasn't played on the big stage yet. But neither, really, has Antetokounmpo. Until last season, Antetokounmpo never played more than seven games in a postseason and everyone knew him.
I didn't mean that you were dumb and wrong, just this way of thinking is that way. There is no reason why a baseball player shouldn't be one of the top ten most famous athletes in this country, especially someone who is as transcendent as Mike Trout. My feeling is that MLB spends so much time fetishizing and promoting its past, that it often neglects and ignores its present. Mookie Betts is another player who should be one of the biggest names in the country. Yet he's not. For a player like Trout or Betts, they have world-class hand-eye-coordination but they aren't genetic freaks like basketball or football players. When I was a kid, I knew that I could never been Patrick Ewing or Michael Jordan, but someone like Jody Reed? I could do that (at least I thought that I could), he's a small dude who ropes doubles. For a kid, Betts should be the same way.
Sorry for the tangent, but what I'm trying to say is that baseball is really missing the boat on this generation. Instead of MLB Network rerunning Ken Burns' Baseball for the millionth time or having the photos of players who haven't played in 50+ years all over their studio show, how about talking about today's baseball stars withOUT the caveat that "Player X is no Willie Mays" or "Player Y doesn't come in as hard as Bob Gibson". Who gives a shit about those guys except boomers trying to hold onto their youth? Mike Trout, Mookie Betts, Jose Altuve, Aaron Judge; these are the players you should be talking about over and over and over again. Not Hank Aaron, Roberto Clemente and Stan Musial*. The NBA and NFL do not do this as much as MLB does.
* And I am (and was) a huge baseball historian. I love the game's links to the past, but most kids don't care about that. At all. They want their heroes to be great and if MLB is telling them that they're all second place to guys who played when their grandparents were kids, eventually they're going to believe them.