Dan's Dugout: Trout Hooks Surgery With Sloppy Slide • Latino Sports

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Dan’s Dugout: Trout Hooks Surgery With Sloppy Slide

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Stupid, stupid, stupid.

That’s the message Mike Trout’s crippling thumb injury should send throughout every major-league locker room.

Mike Trout Signing Autographs Pre Game

Mike Trout Signing Autographs Pre Game

Players are told by coaches and managers never to slide head-first. The risk of injury is simply too great and the reward is negligible at best.

So what did Trout, the best player in the game, decide to do?

He slid into second base head-first, tearing a ligament in his left thumb, and won’t be back til August.

It may not matter much to the Los Angeles Angels, a team already buried by the Houston Astros in the American League West, but it will matter to the league – especially in the All-Star Game.

Trout, bidding for his third Most Valuable Player award at the tender age of 25, won’t play in the game, hit in the home run derby, or do anything related to baseball until he heals from surgery indicated by the injury.

His last act was a successful steal of second base. Big friggin’ deal.

When he went down, he took glittering statistics with him: league leadership in both slugging and on-base percentage. For stats-minded readers, his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) was 3.5 – a half-win more than rookie sensation Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees.

Never on the disabled list before, Trout has always been in the Top Five in the MVP voting. He won it

Mike Trout was heading for his third MVP when hurt

Mike Trout was heading for his third MVP when hurt

last year even though the Angels were also-rans and he seemed well on his way to another trophy in 2017.

Whoops, not so fast.

Injured Sunday against the Miami Marlins in an inter-league game (another stupid affair), Trout represents the best blend of speed, power, and defense in the big leagues. Yes, that includes you, Bryce Harper.

The Toms River, NJ native posted personal peaks last year in on-base plus slugging (.991) and on-base average (.441) while missing a 30/30 season by a single home run.

This year, he was chasing a Triple Crown – a rare trifecta won only once in the majors since 1966.

Defensively, Trout is the best centerfielder in the Junior Circuit, maybe just shy of Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. at his peak.

Unfortunately for the Angels and their fans, however, he’s also human – and prone to human error.

If he learns from his mistakes, Mike Trout will never attempt a head-first slide again.

Elsewhere in baseball:

In the Astros-Twins game Monday, Minnesota slugger Brian Dozier (42 HR last year) batted first and fleet Houston infielder Jose Altuve, the shortest man in the majors, batted third . . .

Bryce Harper was in another brawl with the Giants Photo Credit: Frank Hyatt/Latino Sports

Bryce Harper was in another brawl with the Giants
Photo Credit: Frank Hyatt/Latino Sports

Bryce Harper (Nationals) tarnished his MVP credentials on Memorial Day by renewing fisticuffs with pitcher Hunter Strickland (Giants), a 2014 playoffs foe who hit him with a pitch Monday . . .

What would the Mets give for the return of Justin Turner, the National League’s leading hitter now that he’s wearing Dodger blue? . . .

Following the lead of manager Joe Girardi, veteran Yankees CC Sabathia and Aaron Hicks paid tribute to baseball history by visiting the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City . . .

Hall of Fame pitcher Jim Bunning, who died last week, was the only major-leaguer to serve in Congress . . .

June 9 is Bartolo Colon Bobblehead Day in Atlanta but the rotund righthander, struggling mightily, could be history beforehand.

About Dan Schlossberg

Former AP sportswriter Dan Schlossberg of Fair Lawn, NJ has produced 35 baseball books, including autobiographies of Ron Blomberg, Al Clark, and Milo Hamilton. Also a broadcaster, he is the host and executive producer of Braves Banter and Travel Itch Radio and a contributor to Sirius XM.

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