Mike Trout chuckled, even before the reporter could finish asking the question. Trout has become the most prominent fan of his childhood football team, the Philadelphia Eagles. So he was ready for the obvious question: Does his devotion to the Eagles mean he wants to return home and play for the Phillies?
"I'm an Eagles fan," Trout said on a conference call Tuesday. "I obviously grew up a Philly sports fan. I love playing in Anaheim. Obviously, I've got a couple more years left on my contract. But I love the city of Anaheim and, obviously, the West Coast."
Trout's contract with the Angels expires after the 2020 season, when he will be 29. The Angels have not won a postseason game since the two-time American League most valuable player debuted with the team in 2011.
The Eagles are bound for the Super Bowl. Trout raved about the energy at the NFC championship game in Philadelphia, but he did not bring up dog masks or any other stunt when asked what the Angels might borrow from the Eagles to enliven the crowd in Anaheim.
He brought up the World Series.
"This offseason has been unbelievable for our organization," Trout said. Angels general manager "Billy [Eppler] and the front office and [owner] Arte [Moreno] have a winning mentality, bringing in [Shohei] Ohtani, [Zack] Cozart, [Ian] Kinsler and keeping [Justin] Upton."
"We're going the right way. We're putting a lot of pieces together that we needed last year. A lot of people were asking me about the atmosphere at the game. Obviously, the World Series has got to be the same way."
Trout invited Angels teammate Tyler Skaggs, a Minnesota Vikings fan, to join him in Philadelphia for the NFC championship game. Trout said he has not decided whether to attend the Super Bowl in Minnesota or watch with family and friends at home, although he said he would wear his Eagles dog mask either way, and he promised to post a picture of it on social media.
He said Skaggs was far from the only teammate to give him a hard time about the Eagles this season.
"A lot of players from the Angels doubted them," Trout said. "They gave me a lot of grief, all the time, that they were not going to go anywhere.
"They're all rooting for them now, because they're going up against Tom Brady."
Trout said he grew up watching the 40-year-old Brady, who will be trying to win his sixth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots.
"It's going to be tough, anybody that goes against Tom Brady," Trout said. "He's obviously the best, the greatest of all time."
That did not stop Trout from making this Super Bowl prediction: Eagles 31, Patriots 24, with the Eagles clinching victory on a "late interception" of Brady.