Happy Happy Birthday, Mike Trout
By MJ Lloyd
No, I applaud you, sir (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports)
Michael Nelson Trout. *wipes tear* They, they just grow up so fast, don’t they? Mike Trout celebrates his 22nd birthday today. It seems like just yesterday he was a bright-eyed, 21-year-old and the best player in Major League Baseball. I mean, just last year at this time, Trout was putting the finishing touches on the greatest 20-year-old season of all time. And what has he done for us this year? He’s merely on pace to have the greatest 21-year-old season in the history of baseball. Ugh, he’s getting so boring and predictable in his old age.
Let’s do some statistical house cleaning before the birthday bash. Trout had a near perfect rookie campaign but struck out a tad too much. So for 2013, he decided to cut his strikeout rate from 21.8% to 16.6% and raised his walk rate from 10.5% to 13.1% and is now, to steal from Fangraphs Dave Cameron, basically perfect. Trout’s 2013 slash line of .331/.424/.574 is up from his 2012 .326/.399/.564 but the homers, stolen bases and defensive metrics are down a bit. Projection systems like ZiPS and Steamer call for Trout to finish shy of his remarkable 10.0 fWAR season. Not by much though, as ZiPS has him at 9.8 fWAR and Steamer at 9.9 fWAR. Either of which would supplant Rogers Hornsby‘s 9.5 fWAR for his age 21 season.
Okay, WAR and stats and lack of MVP voting and general crappiness of the Angels aside, on to the festivities for the birthday boy.
1. Proper birthday cake
This one is a piece of, um, cake. So to speak. Literally and figuratively. Trout is a Jersey boy so it’s a Carvel ice cream cake. The only question is whether our
stalkee hero is a…
Fudgie the Whale guy.
A Cookiepuss man. Cookiepuss is an alien sent to probe us with deliciousness. True story.
2. Inviting the right people
Friends, family, teammates, me, the ghost of Mickey Mantle. These are all givens. In an attempt to ripoff This Is Your Life, I also sent out invites to Trout’s 5.000 OPS victims. Trout has a 5.000 OPS against Mark Buehrle (3 PAs), Louis Coleman, Francisco Cordero and Mark Worrell. I’m feeling generous, so Danny Farquhar and Evan Scribner can come too with their 4.000 OPS allowed. And J.J. Hardy. Trout is only one half of that catch.
Two words. Baseball pinata.
Unlike the one at the Biogenesis customer appreciation picnic, our pinata will not be filled with PEDs and excuses. Trout’s will be filled with records and praise. And raisins. They’re nature’s candy. I realize this isn’t fair to other guests since that’s how regular baseballs must look to Trout but it is his birthday.
This is a tough one. Since the BBWAA isn’t interested in giving Trout an MVP and his teammates are having trouble saving up for a World Series ring, it’s time to think outside of the box. The man does need to relax during the off season. That’s why I’m getting him a deluxe raft for when he gets tired of swimming in his Scrooge McDuck style pool of gold doubloons I hope the Angels are getting him. I assume Arte Moreno was just waiting for the right time to back the Brinks truck up.
Happy 22nd birthday, Mike. Here’s to many more years of pure baseball dominance.
P.S. I seem to have lost your address and I need to put in my phone to make it to the party. Also, this document that says I have to remain 500 feet away from you at all times was just a prank, right? Haha, you got me. Now, seriously, what’s your new address?