by Alex Poletti
After receiving a hard no from Angels outfielder Mike Trout for the seventh year in a row, the T-Mobile Home Run Derby still has not taken the hint that the two-time MVP isn’t interested in participating.
“Every year they ask if I want to do the Home Run Derby, and every year I say no,” Trout says. “You think by now they’d understand that I just don’t want to do it, but they still ask me. It’s a little creepy to be honest.”
Trout has not taken legal action against the Home Run Derby yet, but has definitely considered a restraining order. However, it is unlikely that he will do so, given the enjoyment he has watching other players take swings for the Derby trophy.
“Honestly, I think the Derby is a sweet little event,” Trout says. “I actually enjoy watching it. But I’m just not interested in being a part of it. I get what other guys see in it, but it’s not for me.”
Other players have reportedly urged Trout to give the Home Run Derby a try, thinking they may be a good match. However, Trout states he’s already involved with the All-Star Game a day later.
“The thing I don’t get about this whole debacle is that Mike always says he doesn’t want to be in the Derby, but he’s watched it a couple of times and has been there the past few years,” 2018 Home Run Derby champion Bryce Harper says. “In my opinion, he’s giving off mixed signals. Like, the Derby deserves better than that.”
Most of Trout’s critiques have come from Twitter, where fans claim that the sport’s highest paid player is Friendzoning the event. After Trout made a comment that he isn’t ruling out a potential Derby appearance in the future if things change, he was lambasted with criticisms that he is leading the poor event on, with some even going so far as to say that the six-time Silver Slugger is giving the Derby blue balls. Trout scoffs at these accusations.
“People think that just because I like to hit home runs, that must mean I want to be in the Derby,” the 2012 Rookie of the Year says. “But that’s just not the way it works any more. I can hit home runs if I want to, and I don’t need to be tied down to a Derby because of it. I’m not defined by the dingers I hit.”
In their most recent attempt to persuade Trout to join the Derby, Major League Baseball has increased the purse to $2.5 million, with the winner taking home a full $1 million. However, they admit the attempt is feeble at best.
“We thought that maybe if we put more money into it, Mike would be more willing to join,” a Derby representative says. “But he makes an average of $35.5 million a year, this is just peanuts. What do you get the guy who has everything?”
Despite the recent struggle between the two, the Home Run Derby admits it is still glad to just be friends with the Angels slugger.