March 12, 2013
Mike Trout got a $20,000 pay raise from the Angels, and I know I'm supposed to feel something.
If someone could explain to me what a pay raise is, it might help.
I really don't understand why anyone cares what Trout makes unless they have a daughter who might marry him.
You start comparing what people get paid, and it never goes well. I'd like to see the president stand up to Jim Mora, and tell me I don't deserve to be paid more than he does.
Dennis Rodman can do his job, as we learned recently, and he was paid nothing.
OK, so we all know Trout is overloaded with talent. At 20 and 21 maybe the very best in the world at what he does.
I was in the Army when I was 20 and 21, doing my very best to avoid being shipped to Vietnam. And I was the best in the world because I didn't go.
I was paid $333.60 a month while protecting everyone on the home front. And yet despite my heroic efforts, I received only a $13.20 increase to remain with the boys in the green for another year.
I don't recall an outraged agent speaking on my behalf. I only remember my girlfriend saying we could now get married because of the extra $13.20 a month and we were going to live on love anyway.
We would get fat on love and later include Jenny Craig in our relationship; things do change.
Today's soldier, like Trout, gets paid so much more. A soldier today with less than two years' service like Trout will earn approximately $23,760 annually.
And like baseball players, soldiers also have an incentive clause in their deals. They stay alive and they get paid again.
Trout is guaranteed to earn $510,000 this season. He can buy a car and not worry about the payments. Good for him.
But quite a few people are upset. They say Angry Arte has gone inexplicably cheap in dealing with the team's best player, or worse yet, he's just being himself and seeking revenge.
Fox's baseball insider Ken Rosenthal reported the Angels offered Trout more than $510,000, but shy of the $1 million he wanted.
Rosenthal says he was told Trout rejected the Angels' offer, and Arte got angry and renewed Trout at $510,000 as a "punitive measure."
We should all be punished so harshly, but it's interesting to hear again how wrong we were to judge Arte Moreno as the benevolent owner.
Angry Arte is a great guy when everyone is telling him he's great, but when told anything else he starts cussing, or looking for a hiding place.
Some worry Trout will now get angry and sign elsewhere four years from now.
That's a long time to carry a grudge, unless you're working for a guy who reminds you all the time that's how he lives.
But so far Trout has remained cool, while baseball writers make the case for him that he deserves better.
They do so in WAR terms, and actually use those letters to spell out why a baseball player has gotten a raw deal.
WAR, or wins above replacement, is some fancy stat that determines how many more wins a player might give a team than someone else.
We're told Trout excelled at WAR, and I wonder if that's the same as congratulating a serviceman upon the successful completion of a tour of duty in Afghanistan.
Why the hubbub? Trout is probably going to make more than $100 million in a few years, and we're supposed to be upset because he's being shortchanged with $510,000.
Perspective is long gone.
To make a mockery of Trout's $510,000 annual salary, SI.com calculated it will take teammate Vernon Wells 3.4 games to match Trout's salary.
CBS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote the Angels were "sticking it" to Trout.
Trout could not have paid a publicist to drum up better goodwill. As good as he is, he's now an underdog again, everyone pulling for him to show how he's been mistreated.
"Mike Trout spent the summer of 2012 looking like the next Mickey Mantle," wrote Jeff Miller in the Orange County Register.
"When it came time to recognize the cornerstone of their franchise, to reward the player who chased history his entire rookie season — and usually caught it — the Angels treated him like the next Mickey Mouse."
Finally someone who gets it, and it would figure to be someone working so close to Disneyland.
If Trout goes on to become the next Mickey Mouse, as Miller suggests and the Angels have planned, and Trout becomes just as beloved while making as much money as the Mouse, who cares what the upstart makes now?
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