“You cannot market a player passively” – When MLB boss Rob Manfred aimed indirect jibe at Angels MVP Mike Trout

Mike Trout is a very, very special player. A three-time MVP, former Rookie of the Year, and nine-time Silver Slugger, the Angels star’s record is beyond reproach. As such, the outfielder lets that record speak for himself.

Rob Manfred called Mike Trout

In 2018, MLB commissioner Rob Manfred threw shade in Trout’s direction for what the league’s top individual claimed was a lack of “active engagement”. According to Manfred, who has served as the commissioner since 2015, Mike Trout’s own brand has suffered because of a lack of self-marketing. Manfred was quoted by ESPN as saying:

“Player marketing requires one thing for sure — the player. 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. We are very interested in having our players more engaged and having higher-profile players and helping our players develop their individual brand. But that involves the player being actively engaged.

While Trout’s own personal achievements speak for themselves, the record of his team, the Los Angeles Angels, does not. Since Trout made his MLB debut with the team in 2011, they have only appeared in a single playoff series, which ended in a sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals in the 2014 ALDS. Undoubtedly, this lack of playoff experience has had an effect on Trout’s exposure.


“7/24/2011: Mike Trout hit his first career #MLB home run as a 19-year-old, and there was an excellent catch in the stands at Camden Yards, to boot. The rest, as they say, is history” – MLB Daily Dingers

Although he is active on social media, Mike Trout is not as active as some players on his platforms. Moreover, since the comments were made six years ago, Trout’s notoriety as the Angels top player lost some of that cache to Shohei Ohtani, who has since signed a record-setting deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers

Mike Trout marches to the beat of his own drum

Under contract with the Los Angeles Angels until 2031, Trout still has plenty of time to make a lasting impact on macro outcomes for his team. From Manfred’s perspective, a player who possesses as much raw s𝓀𝒾𝓁𝓁 as Trout should be milked for revenue from the league.

However, part of what has made Trout become viewed as so reliable is his low-key nature. In retort to Manfred’s claims, Mike Trout said that he choses how he spends his off-field time. In the eyes of most fans, that’s perfectly alright.


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