The Angels have thrown some chin music at MLB commissioner Rob Manfred.
Mike Trout, baseball’s biggest star, was the subject of some strong comments from Manfred about the outfielder’s lack of popularity among causal fans. A day later, the Angels released a statement supporting Trout, who they believe is an “exceptional ambassador for the game.”
“His solid character creates a perfect role model for young people everywhere,” the Angels said. “ Each year, Mike devotes a tremendous amount of his time and effort contributing to our Organization and marketing Major League Baseball. He continually chooses to participate in the community, visiting hospitals, schools and countless other charities.
“One of Mike's traits that people admire most is his humility. His brand is built upon generously spending his time engaging with fans, both at home and on the road, while remaining a remarkable baseball player and teammate. In addition, Mike spends quality time as a husband, son, brother, uncle and friend. We applaud him for prioritizing his personal values over commercial self-promotion. That is rare in today's society and stands out as much as his extraordinary talent.”
Manfred said at the All-Star Game Tuesday, where Trout hit a home run off of Mets ace Jacob deGrom, that the star would be even more popular if he marketed himself better.
“Player marketing requires one thing for sure -- the player," the commissioner said. "You cannot market a player passively. You can't market anything passively. You need people to engage with those to whom you are trying to market in order to have effective marketing.”
Manfred added that Trout has made the choice to not market himself well.
“Mike is a great, great player and a really nice person, but he has made certain decisions about what he wants to do, and what he doesn’t want to do, and how he wants to spend his free time, and how he doesn’t want to spend his free time,” Manfred said. “That’s up to him.”
Trout refuted Manfred’s words after the American League beat the NL, 8-6, in 10 innings.
"Yeah ... no," Trout said. "I keep telling you guys, I do as much as I can. But it's a long baseball season. I got to pick and choose when I want to do things and go from there."