Sports

MLB Commissioner places blame for Mike Trout’s lack of national visibility on Trout

Major League Baseball is growing increasingly tense with stories about how it cannot market its best player, the Angels’ Mike Trout.

Commissioner Rob Manfred, asked Tuesday about Trout’s reluctance to spend his free time promoting himself and the Angels’ inability to make the playoffs as factors in his lack of national visibility, said nothing about the latter and pointed his finger directly at Trout.

“Player marketing requires one thing for sure: the player,” Manfred said. “You cannot market a player passively. You need people to engage with those to whom you are trying to market in order to have effective marketing.

“We are very interested in having our players more engaged, in having higher-profile players, in helping our players develop their individual brand. …

“Mike is a great, great player and a really nice person, but he has made certain decisions about what he wants to do, and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time, and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time. That’s up to him.

“If he wants to engage and be more active in that area, I think we could help him make his brand really big. But he has to make a decision that he is prepared to engage in that area, and it takes time and effort.”

Trout homered in the third inning of Tuesday’s All-Star game.

andy.mccullough@latimes.com

Twitter: @McCulloughTimes