I Wonder What Mike Trout Is Doing Right Now?

“The world’s series turned over and gave its last gasp yesterday. …This morning will see all the players except home-breds on their way back home or headed for the great open spaces where the streams abound with fish and woods are full of game.” The New York Times, October 18, 1923

I wonder what Mike Trout is doing right now?

How strange to have your free days all bundled together into a handful of weeks in the chill of fall and winter. I spend my free time following baseball. Mike Trout doesn’t.

It’s been one week without baseball.

It’s estimated that 800,000 people turned out in Kansas City on Tuesday to greet the World Series champion Royals along the parade route – that’s nearly half the city’s population. Businesses and schools closed, while bars along the parade route opened at 8:30 a.m.

That’s righteous support, Royals fans! You have made baseball feel magical and important again. Take that, Super Bowl.

That’s one mess of blue.

So, how to spend these winter-ish days? They are, to the casual observer, baseball-less, but, to those who know better, they are filled with games in Arizona and the Caribbean and Australia.

There’s the intrigue of the “hot stove” where owners toss money and players around like Secret Santa gifts, and where I, as is tradition, wonder how I ended up loving cheapskates like the Orioles. There’s a candy cane stuck in my stocking, while everyone else gets coffee gift cards, imported chocolates, and Zack Greinke.

For most players the off-season is already a month old, and these first weeks are spent hunting and fishing, getting married, and having surgeries to knit up season-old injuries.

Cy Young 1908 public domain

Public Domain via Library of Congress

Cy Young

In 1904, Cy Young advised: “Take things comparatively easy during the off season. … Light farm work in the off season has helped me. It is healthier than life in the big city.”

I’m all for taking things comparatively easy, but, any farmer will tell you, “light” farm work is always more strenuous, complicated, and exhausting than you planned on. And, I’m pretty sure that “light farm work” in 1904 meant 14 hours of labor, a hunk of bread for lunch, and trying not to lose your hand in the thresher.

In 1909, the “Old Fox” Clark Griffith, managing the Cincinnati Reds at the time, stopped his players from playing baseball in the off-season. “Playing ball in the winter ruins a man for his best work in the good old summer time,” he told The Washington Post. “Baseball is a sport which taxes the nerves as well as the muscles, and a man is sure to go stale unless he has plenty of time to recuperate.”

clark griffith 1920 public domain

Public Domain via Library of Congress

Clark Griffith Reminds You To Take It Easy … Get Some Rest.

This didn’t stop other players from making a buck by joining barnstorming teams that traveled the country or headed to Cuba or played in indoor leagues.

During the 1980s, the Royals’ wall-climbing outfielder Bo Jackson would spend his off-season as a running-back with the LA Raiders. He called football his “hobby.”

Bo Knows … 

Cy Young pitched for 21 seasons; won 511 games, the most in baseball history; and threw three no-hitters, including one perfect game.

So, maybe he’s right. About the taking it easy part, not the light farm work.

Maybe fans need time to recuperate, too.

The only light farm work I will be doing is taking the garden gnomes in for the winter.

gnome

But, there are books to read, cats that need feeding, and rooms that need dusting. I’m sure there is other stuff as well. And, if you give me a couple days, I will surely come up with something.

mookie the unroller

To Do: Hang The Toilet Paper Back On The Roller.

And, I saved a couple games on the DVR, too … … … because I lied about dusting.

Oh … and what about Mike Trout? Come to find out, he wants to be a weatherman and he’s angling to join The Weather Channel this off-season. “We’re planning on me doing a story when there’s a big storm in Jersey,” he said. “Hopefully, we get a big snowstorm.”

Angels at Orioles June 27, 2012

Angels at Orioles June 27, 2012. Photo by Keith Allison from Owings Mills, MD [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Mike Trout is a) robbing a “sure” home run from Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy, or b) checking to see which way the wind blows.

The all-knowing Twitter was able to tell me exactly what Mike Trout was doing “right now” as I wrote this post:

Huntin’ and fishin’. That’s all they do isn’t it?

20 thoughts on “I Wonder What Mike Trout Is Doing Right Now?

  1. If there’s no big storm in Jersey, will Mike Trout be without an off-season job? Will he be consigned to the status of unfair-weather-friend?

    • Well, if nothing else, he can always films a few more Subway sandwich commercials to stay busy! But, I’m going to be watching the weather map and when it starts to snow in Jersey I’m going straight to The Weather Channel.

    • Plus, check out the updated post, there’s some new info at the end … thanks to the miracle of Twitter I was able to determine EXACTLY what Mike Trout was doing yesterday as I wrote this post wondering what Mike Trout was doing. And, it was just as I suspected …

    • Thank you, Bill! I’m with you … it’s a long, grueling season with just that little All-Star break in the middle (and 10% of the players end up at that game, so there’s no break at all for them). Your Mets went nearly 10 months from pitchers & catchers reporting to a World Series that ended in November. That doesn’t leave much time for much rest. (How Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders did the baseball/football juggle just seems crazy.)

  2. Another excellent piece to enjoy! Thank you! As always, I feel your pain on the Orioles. I keep looking around at the bright, shiny things on the free agent market and then realize that I’m just dreaming…

    • Thanks, Maria. You know what gives me hope? Nelson Cruz. The Orioles took a risk and spent $8 million on a one-year deal with an iffy player that much richer teams wouldn’t bother with. And, I think losing Nick Markakis last season also weighs heavily on them … I think they may push a little harder to keep Chris Davis. But, really, I hope there’s a starting pitcher in our Christmas stocking. :)

        • It’s always a little unfair when a team like the Mets has such an embarrassment of riches when it comes to starting pitchers and the O’s are still trying to make themselves believe that Chris Tillman is a #1 caliber starter. (I mean, he’s all right and all … but really, if he’s playing for the Mets, he’s sitting out in the bullpen waiting for a inning here or there.) Here’s hoping …

      • I thought the same thing. They will probably hang around until the end to see what is left on the shelves. Not sure if that will yield another Nelson Cruz but you never know. I think that most of the fans want Chris Davis but personally, I think they need to let him go to free up cash for pitching.

    • I’m a hopeful optimist, too. I think Nelson Cruz signing with the O’s in 2014 is proof that the O’s are willing to take risks from time to time. I’m still annoyed by how poorly they handled Nick Markakis last season, but if the O’s come through with a real top-of-the-line starting pitcher this winter, I’ll certainly let bygones be bygones! :)

  3. Fishing and a potential weatherman?! Who knew?! I find it interesting how many do not leave baseball at retirement,also. and Cheers to the Royals!

  4. The off-season is always rough, especially with the harsh winters we get up here. At least we have plenty of hockey to keep us occupied, and have plenty of baseball movies and classic games to keep me delusional. If you have Netflix, I just watched ‘The Battered Bastards of Baseball’ and it was amazing! I highly recommend it.
    -Mike

    • I’ve continued to look for that movie — as I’ve heard other folks say good things about it as well. I live in a black hole where there is no DSL or fancy internetting going on, so I can’t stream Netflix. Still, I promise you … I’ll figure out a way to see “The Battered Bastards of Baseball” before this winter is up! Thanks for the suggestion, by the way … which I neglected to thank you for when you left this comment originally! :)

    • I know. It’s almost unbelievable … to be able to play at the highest level in two sports? ESPN’s 30 for 30 did a documentary on Bo Jackson that was very good. Who knows what he would have achieved if not for one insignificant tackle that led to a freakish injury that ultimately ended his career. I wasn’t at the game where he walked up the wall at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, but I was at a game there soon after and all the Orioles outfielders spent a good chunk of their batting practice trying to do it. They couldn’t.

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