Klugh: Is Mike Trout’s excellence boring?

From Justin Klugh at FanGraphs on March 4, 2020:

This week, we saw footage of Mike Trout being unkind to a golf ball. He sent it into near-earth orbit with ease as a crowd of cackling onlookers has the only reasonable reaction. If he were a superstar with superstar exposure, this would have been quite the branding opportunity for Topgolf. Instead, it became an opportunity for the baseball world to debate the greatness of his feat.

What did he really do, some asked. Anything more than what a skilled golfer could have done? And shouldn’t Mike Trout be able to do that? Why would we be surprised that he could? Enjoying something, even an 18-second clip of a dude whacking a ball, is passé, and on a more vibrant, upbeat planet, we would have absorbed the footage, whistled quietly, and moved onto the various other 18-second segments that would make up our day. Maybe it’s the well-earned cynicism of today’s baseball fan or the sea of writers looking for topics [waves aggressively at you], but that’s not how we do things anymore.

Other players have wielded a golf club with lesser results. Vince Coleman once bashed Dwight Gooden in the shoulder blade while practicing his swing in the Mets clubhouse. Ted Williams agreed to and easily lost a driving contest with track star and golf champ Babe Didrikson Zaharias in 1948. Golf has met baseball on its own turf, too; Sam Snead whacked a drive over the 89-foot scoreboard from home plate at Wrigley Field in 1951 as part of an Opening Day celebration.

Read the full article here: https://blogs.fangraphs.com/is-mike-trouts-excellence-boring/

Originally published: March 5, 2020. Last Updated: March 5, 2020.