Mike Trout’s grand slam Saturday night off Chris Sale will probably go down as our favorite moment of the 2014 season. It was everything you love about baseball, all rolled into a moment you can keep in your memory bank forever. It was a moment that could serve as a catalyst in swinging the Angels’ entire season.
Jeff Sullivan over at FanGraphs is one of our favorite writers. The guy digests a ton of data; quickly, and can interpret it and put it into words often so eloquently. His post over at FanGraphs today on the big grand slam is a must read.
We take Mike Trout for granted. It’s not a thing that’s unique to Mike Trout. We take all consistently great baseball players for granted. We take all consistently great anythings for granted. That’s why we’re always trying to figure out the next big thing — it doesn’t take long to get used to the current big thing. Mike Trout, right now, beats the hell out of Gregory Polanco, but Polanco might be of greater current interest, because he’s fresh and he could become a star. Trout’s already been a star for years. This is just part of having a human brain — we acclimate. We’re incredible at it. It has its upsides.
Once you start taking a player for granted, though, it’s that much more difficult to really appreciate what the player’s able to do. The best players aren’t guys regularly doing amazing things — the best players are guys regularly doing good things, some percentage more often than the inferior players. Usually those are standard good things. We get to the point where, in order to feel an appreciation, we need something extraordinary. So let’s seize a chance. Feel like you’ve been taking Mike Trout for granted? You’re not alone. Let’s watch him do something extraordinary, to remember that he is extraordinary.
And he’s right. He’s completely and totally right. We have all been so spoiled by Mike Trout for so long that it’s become somewhat of diminished returns and we’re looking for the next big thing. The fact of the matter is that a Trout comes along once every 25 years, and we should appreciate these huge moments that dot the large grid of a career so very far and few in between as they happen. Cherish them. Cherish them very much folks. This post will help you do just that.
It was a rare moment in a rare player’s career.