Stark: ‘Trout Not in Derby Is Awful for the Sport’ May Have Been Pressured By Angels
To the displeasure of all of baseball, Angels phenom Mike Trout will not be participating in the Home Run Derby.
Yes, that Mike Trout.
That same Mike Trout who hit a mammoth 489-ft home run in Kansas City, the longest in the major leagues this season.
"Mike Trout not being in the derby is awful for the sport," ESPN.com MLB insider Jayson Stark told "Mike and Mike" on 97.3 ESPN FM.
Trout was invited to be a participant by American League team captain Jose Bautista, but politely declined on Monday, as did Tigers power hitter Miguel Cabrera and Orioles' Nelson Cruz.
But Stark also may have dropped a bit of a bombshell in his same interview on 97.3 ESPN FM. Maybe it wasn't Trout declining for the sake of himself, but there is a growing concern that he declined the invitation at the request of the Angels.
"My concern is that Mike Trout may have been pressured not to participate by his team, there's been some buzz about that," Stark added.
The Angels are currently 3.5 games behind the Oakland A's for the AL West division and maintain a slim lead in the Wild Card standings.
Trout is hitting .308 this season with 20 home-runs and 64 RBI and recently told Matthew DeFranks of MLB.com that he just wants to watch it from the dugout.
"I just want to be able to go and enjoy it. I always had fun watching it, growing up as a kid watching it on TV, and being able to sit on the sidelines is pretty cool," said Trout.
If Stark is onto something with Trout being pressured by the Angels, don't look any further as to why the home run derby is dying and why the All-Star game has lost its luster.
Trout is the future face of baseball and with the power he's displayed this season, fans attending the game at Target Field and watching on television are missing out on a potential unforgettable performance. However, Trout has been known to stay out of the spotlight and when he has an option to decline such opportunities, he'll take that option.
The home run derby is quickly approaching slam dunk contest territory.
LISTEN to Jayson Stark on 97.3 ESPN FM: