After All-Star honors, Trout gets back to work with Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Mike Trout has parked his truck and stowed his latest glass bat trophy from the All-Star Game.
He can't wait to get back to work on getting the Los Angeles Angels back to the postseason.
The Angels' center fielder is fresh off another remarkable midsummer performance heading into a four-game series with Boston that started Friday night. He won his second straight All-Star Game MVP award in Cincinnati on Tuesday, hitting a leadoff homer and scoring two runs in the AL's 6-3 victory.
''It's a huge honor,'' Trout said. ''It's been crazy. It's been a whirlwind. You just have to trust your ability and the hard work you put in, and good things will come out of it.''
Trout's latest superlative performance sparked national pontificating about his place in the game, with many labeling the 23-year-old New Jersey native as the face of baseball. Trout isn't about to second the statement, but the reigning AL MVP doesn't shy from it, either.
''As a player, it's definitely a humbling statement,'' Trout said. ''I just go out there and respect the game. I try to play as hard as I can. It doesn't matter what the situation is in the game. And you try to be a role model for kids.''
Other than his trophy and the accompanying new wheels, Trout said his favorite All-Star moment was Todd Frazier's dramatic hometown victory in the Home Run Derby.
Trout declined to participate in the Derby this year, but he seems interested in trying it in a future season. He began the second half tied for the AL lead with 26 homers.
''The new format, I enjoyed watching it,'' Trout said. ''I heard a lot of good things from the players and stuff, that they liked it. It made it more exciting, I think, because Frazier or any of the other guys coming down to 30 seconds, they were just trying to get homers quick, fast as they can. That was pretty cool.''
Trout's MVP performance was no surprise to the Angels, who entered the break on their best run of the season, winning 11 of 14. Los Angeles surged into first place in the AL West on the final weekend, making a dramatic improvement from a season of .500 ball.
Trout was in the middle of it all, of course: He was the AL's Player of the Week after hitting five homers and batting .478 with 10 RBIs in the final games before the break.
''I think the things we see Mike do every day showed up in front of a national audience,'' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ''Besides the home run, I mean, you see him beat out a routine double-play ball. You see him score on a bullet to left field where the left fielder is pinching him, and beat the play easily. You just see the things that we see every day show up. Even if he takes an 0 for 4, or 0 for 4 and a walk, he does something that helps you win a game.''
For all of his achievements in his short career, the four-time All-Star still hasn't won a playoff game. He hopes to have a chance to fix that by keeping the Angels in postseason position down the stretch.
''There is always room for improvement,'' Trout said. ''Once you think you've got this game figured out, it's going to kick you in the rear end and put you back in place, so I'm just trying to get better each and every day when it comes to defense or baserunning, little things at the plate.''