Everyone loves Mike Trout, right?
Not in Canada, apparently. In a column for the Toronto Globe and Mail, Cathal Kelly scoffed at the notion that Trout could succeed Derek Jeter as the face of baseball. Kelly saluted the Angels’ star for his playing ability but said he does not have the personality or pizazz of Jeter.
What Trout really needs, Kelly argues, is a little bit of Yasiel Puig in him.
Kelly contends Trout is “dragging baseball backward” to the Stan Musial era with blandness in his cliches and in his appearance.
Kelly on Trout:
“His greatness lies in doing everything predictably well. He is metronomic in his excellence, which makes him just a little bit boring.
“He lacks the electricity of the anti-Trout, L.A. Dodger Yasiel Puig. Every time Puig charges a ball in the outfield, you know there’s a fair chance he’s going to rifle it into the stands. That tension makes him the most exciting player in the game.
“Puig lives on the edge of control, and frequently loses it. Trout does not make mistakes. He is constantly in control.”
Later, Kelly wonders if Trout plus Puig -- the Angels’ hero and the Dodgers’ anti-hero -- could equal Jeter.
“Trout will never be an iconic player. Doesn’t matter how well he hits. Doesn’t matter how many rings he wins. That’s part of it, but it should bolster your credentials, rather than define them.
“By the numbers, Jeter wasn’t the greatest player of his generation. Not even close. But there was an ineffable quality that made him more than championships or batting titles.
“Trout will never be that guy. He needs a foil. Puig seems purpose built. Those two young men (Puig is 23) could combine to become the yin and yang of the game.”
The entire column is linked above. Read it, and let us know what you think.