Los Angeles Angels manager Michael Scioscia acknowledged today that the 2013 season has been disappointing for his team, but said he has been pleased and surprised that outfielder Mike Trout has not been the cause of the Angels’ losing ways.
“I was pretty close to cutting him before the season started, I don’t think that was much of a secret,” Scioscia said of Trout, who reported to spring training carry a few extra pounds around his neck. “I didn’t think he’d be able to put that neck fat behind him and have a productive major league career. But he’s really surprised me and, I think, a lot of people around baseball.”
Following a breakout 2012 season in which he won Rookie of the Year and hit .326 with 30 home runs and 49 stolen bases, Trout has put up another outstanding season and currently boasts a 1.005 OPS, third-best in baseball.
“I didn’t expect this at all,” said Scioscia. “I thought we had ourselves a flash-in-the-pan, a one-year wonder. You know, what with the chubby neck in March and all. But he’s produced. That said, that chubby neck will catch up to him one day if he doesn’t watch it. Mark my words.”
Trout, who lost the excess neck fat after a few minutes of light jogging, said this season has given him a lot of confidence.
“Baseball is a difficult sport, but I know now that I am tough enough to overcome something as serious as a double chin,” he said. “I’m proud of myself when I look in the mirror now, even though my face takes up less of the mirror than it used to.”
Scioscia says he hopes Trout’s remarkable comeback from a fat neck can serve as inspiration to Albert Pujols, who has developed really old skin, bone and muscles, as well as to Josh Hamilton, who sucks at baseball.