by Alex Poletti
Photo by Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports
Hoping to get some players to sign with his team for a chance at making the playoffs for just the second time in his stellar career, Mike Trout has been fervently recruiting the top free agent talent this winter. However, he recently revealed to The Second String that this has been a difficult challenge, given that he can’t promise them a role in the upcoming LA-sports-based film “Space Jam 2.”
“I can talk to them about how nice the weather is, how the parties are,” the three-time AL MVP says, “but they all want a chomp at “Space Jam.” I tell them that I don’t have sway over that, that it’s not about the Angels. I just don’t know how to come back from that.”
“Space Jam 2” is currently in production, starring LeBron James of the Los Angeles Lakers. He has previously told NBA free agents that if they sign with the team, he’ll put them in the 2021 basketball flick. For the baseball world, the reasons to come to LA decrease significantly without a “Space Jam” incentive.
“Most of the time, LA is on fire,” Trout continues. “The traffic is bad, we don’t have federal funding anymore apparently and we don’t even play in Los Angeles—we’re in freaking Anaheim!”
Despite having one of the game’s premier talents, the Angels have only been to the playoffs once this decade, winning the AL West in 2014. However, their October appearance was fruitless, as they were swept by the Kansas City Royals in the Divisional Series.
After signing a 12-year contract for $426 million, the largest contract in North American sports history, Trout proceeded to have a career year, hitting .291 with a career-high 45 home runs and a 1.083 OPS in just 134 games. He has led the league in OPS+ each of the past five seasons.
“I don’t know what to do at this point,” Trout says. “I’m not a big spotlight guy. I just like living my own private life. But I didn’t sign with the Seattle Mariners for a reason—I expect to play postseason baseball.”
Still, no “Space Jam” means no new teammates. At this point for the Angels superstar, desperate times call for desperate measures.
“I’ve called a few animation companies about making a baseball-animated crossover,” Trout says. “Disney’s right down the street, so hopefully they get back to me soon with some good news. The minions are out, though.”