Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slugger Mike Trout spoke about returning to play and doing so without fans.
Like the rest of Major League Baseball, Angels outfielder Mike Trout is itching to get back on the field. However, even he is ready to admit that it will be strange without fans in attendance.
Speaking with Fox News on Wednesday, Trout was open about his desire to return to the field, what that means to the game, and how it will be awkward without fans in attendance.
“I think any baseball is better than no baseball, so if we have to do it, we have to do it. It’s definitely something to get used to,” said Trout. “It’s the world we’re living in right now. If that’s what it takes to get back, obviously that’s what we’ve got to do to get back.”
The current plan that the owners approved last week is for the season to officially begin in early July and play an 82-game schedule. There would then be a 14-team playoff (seven from each league) that plays into November. That plan would have teams playing in their home parks, but would not allow for fans during the 2020 season, as most states are still prohibiting large gatherings in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic.
Trout also acknowledged that playing in empty stadiums would be different, noting that players often feed off of the environment.
“I think that’s going to be tough for a lot of guys because people feed off the electric crowds, people feed off the energy.”
Mike Trout does not address the contract issue between MLBPA and the owners
Incidentally, Trout chose not to comment on the ongoing negotiations between the players and the owners in regard to the compensation the players will receive for the shortened season.
As the game’s highest-paid player, making $37.67 million in 2020 and beyond, Trout has the most at stake by reducing his pay for the 2020 season. As it stands, a pro-rated salary would see Trout earn $19.07 million of that sum. However, owners are seeking the players to accept a revenue share agreement rather than a prorated portion.
It comes as no surprise that Trout would remain quiet on that front. Despite being the game’s best player and its highest paid, he has a history of being somewhat private on both union and personal matters. It would be out of character for him to speak up in a similar way to what Blake Snell and Bryce Harper have previously.
The union would undoubtedly love to have him take their fight up and carry the flag with them, but Trout is a smart enough player to know when not to fight a battle in the court of public opinion. Especially if it is a fight that both sides stand to lose in the eyes of fans.