MIke Trout has done so many amazing things in almost 11 full seasons of the major leagues – 319 home runs, nine all-star appearances, three awards for the most valuable American League player – it’s hard to believe he has only one post-season career hit. One.

This lone hit, a home run with empty bases, was highlighted in the first inning of the game on October 5, 2014, when the then Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim lost to the Kansas City Royals 8-3 to win a relegation from the American League series in three games.

This 1 to 12 game was Trout’s only postseason, so he has no playoff wins. Since 2015, the period when another Los Angeles team, the Dodgers, has competed in three World Series, winning one – the Angels have not had a winning season.

It’s hard to feel too sorry for the big league player who has a 12-year contract for $ 426.5 million. But it should hurt Trout, who is widely considered the best baseball player on the planet and perhaps one of the greatest of all time, that his teammates for so long could not complement his talent.

That is, apparently, still. He plays for the Los Angeles Angels (they quit from Anaheim part six years ago) who have established themselves as contenders in the first six weeks of the season, winning 10 of their first 15 games in May to become contenders for AL West, where their main rivals are the Houston Astros.

“I’m just very happy for the guys,” said Joe Madonna, their third-year student, at a news conference after his 11-3 win over Tampa Bay earlier this month. “They come ready to play every day. They are very closely related. We are very happy. “

Wait. Joe Madonna. Remember him? Just six years ago, Madonna led the Chicago Cubs to their first World Series title in 108 years. Prior to that, he took the once-abandoned Tampa Bay Race to their first World Series, which they lost to the Philadelphia Phillies in 2008.

Madonna, who grew up in his father’s plumbing store in West Hazelton, Pennsylvania, has spent most of his career in the minor leagues as a catcher at Angels. He later became a scout, interim manager and coach. He coached Mike Shaoshi’s bench for the Angels, which won the World Series in 2002. But his triumphant return to the team began slowly.

The first year that Madonna and the Angels, 2020, was cut to 60 games due to the Covid pandemic. Trout’s 2021 season ended in May after he tore a calf muscle. This year he looks more than simple, and the Angels seem to have even better staff than last season.

They’ll probably have to survive the Astros to win their first AL West title since 2014, but the Angels seem to have made a list and a good start, which could lead them to a place in the MLB playoffs that has increased this year up to 12 teams.

Trout remains the basis. He grew up in Millville, New Jersey, where he was known as “Mikey,” a guy who battered in his backyard, throwing rocks and hitting them with an aluminum bat. ping ping ping conducting through its surroundings.

Although he grew up far from traditional baseball hotspots, he became a prodigy, muscular, intelligent, stoic, pleasant – if not a quote writer. His main interest, as you know, is not flashy machines or NFT schemes, but the weather forecast. His career WAR, a measure of a player’s total contribution to his team, is 78.8. For context, this is only 0.4 behind Joe DiMagge – and Trout is still many years ahead. If he is left uninjured, he should go into the top 10 of all time in his WAR career.

After being recognized as the rookie of the AL year in 2012, he said of the possible decline in sophomore year: “I don’t believe it. I just go out and play. You fall into a recession, you just have to get out of it. That’s how I look at it. ” So it’s no surprise that Trout, who turns 31 in August, has strayed far from last season, gaining a base average plus stagnation (OPS) that is similar to the one he made in his three MVP seasons.

The difference, this time, is that Trout has two other formidable daily teammates: the amazing Shohei Ahtani, who is not only a designated striker but also a pitcher, and lead man Taylor Ward, a career striker.254 , who is somehow leading the American League middle table this season.

Last week was especially good for angels for many reasons. Trout won three home runs in a 12-0 win over Tampa Bay, but it was virtually negative because the 22-year-old rookie, left-hander Reed Detmers, missed the Rays. Chase Silset, the 23-year-old right-hander, was called up from the Rocket City Trash Pandas (indeed) to Double A and threw six shut-inings and beat Auckland in his major league debut.

In the offseason, the Angels signed a contract with free agent Noah Cindergaard, a 6-foot 6-inch right-hander named Thor, a one-year contract for $ 21 million. Thor looked as if he would forever be playing for the New York Mets, but was often injured while undergoing Tommy John’s surgery, so there was some risk on the part of the Angels. But he won three of the first four decisions.

Yes, angels could fall. Trout received a blow to the left arm in a game against Texas on April 17th. The X-rays were negative, but it was a fear: Trout missed six weeks due to a thumb injury to his left hand in 2017, after he knocked down 16 homers in the first two months. Trout also missed 18 games in 2018 due to right wrist inflammation and 19 games in 2019 after foot surgery. Last season he suffered a calf injury. He was originally expected to miss six or eight weeks, but never returned.

But now he’s back, and he and his teammates quickly set a goal to play in the postseason. He subtly copes with being called the best player in baseball, but he admits that the best players of any sport still crave the trophies earned by their teams.

“I always try to think positive,” he said in a March interview with CBS Los Angeles. “I have a great organization behind me, a lot of support from my teammates, coaches, front office. It was probably the hardest and hardest year of my career when I couldn’t be with my guys. ”

But he added: “It’s still a game of baseball. I still go and play a game I love. A lot comes along with that. But for me, as soon as the lights go on and I run out there, I just play baseball. I have had this kind of thinking since childhood. “

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