Age may play a role but are we not in the era of leadership and titles that defines a player’s status? We praise them during their regular season, when at the age of 20 they are hitting 30 home runs and stealing 40+ bases, but if they either lose or don’t make the playoffs they are forgiven due to their lack of experience.
This is nonsense.
A winner that can’t win.
A-Rod finally got his ring with the New York Yankees, which quieted the doubters, but what about the younger generation of stars that have failed in the ever-changing landscape of baseball?
Will Trout ever be able to lead the balanced-yet-can’t-perform Los Angeles Angels, or will he forever be the talented loser?
What about Harper in DC? He has the tools and the MVP trophy to boot, but his team underachieves as well.
Why are they not getting the A-Rod treatment?
Trout and Harper have combined for 800+ runs, 1,300+ hits, 240+ home runs, 640+ RBIs, seven All-Star appearances and two MVPs in seven combined seasons. They are that good, but the flip-side of that is this: only three playoff appearances.
This is not what you want from the future faces of the league. We crave winners and leaders. Are there anymore Derek Jeter‘s, Jimmy Rollins‘, Buster Posey‘s or David Ortiz‘s left in the league? Someone has to step up and claim that throne, and now it has to be one of these two or both.
How great would it be to a have a MLB rivalry? We have the Yankees and Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays, or a classic Mark McGwire vs Sammy Sosa throwback rivalry, but to have an Angels and Washington Nationals rivalry would be great for the sport.
It rarely happens, unlike in the NBA where the Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs can meet up in the NBA Finals twice in three seasons or the NFL where the Buffalo Bills and Dallas Cowboys can meet up in consecutive years. Baseball is different, so may games, so many possibilities, but that would make for a great series. Harper vs Trout, but it’s not likely to happen any time soon and the blame shouldn’t fall squarely on their shoulders or should it?
Both players are great, but in baseball there’s no such thing as a single player carrying a team. Some fans like to think so but it’s not. You always get the same argument that Jeter carried the Yanks or Albert Pujols put the St. Louis Cardinals on his back to a championship. Yes, they were very vital cogs in the equation, but no one player can be that guy in baseball.
If that was the case, Harper and Trout would have met already in the World Series with the numbers they have put up throughout their careers. But since they haven’t they can just relish in the fact that they are great regular season players, and not much else until they have that A-Rod breakthrough moment.
Before his time with the Yankees he was viewed as the best player in the game, same with Trout and Harper but playoff appearances or wins were hard to come by. Maybe it’s the teams. To be fair A Rod didn’t win until he teamed with Jeter but is Trout not the same player that shares a clubhouse with Pujols? Harper’s uniform bares a striking resemblance to the same one that WS winner Jayson Werth and CY Young winner Max Scherzer wears. Fans may feel that I am being too hard on the young guys but when those same fans are the ones that have labeled you the best, same we did with A Rod, Jeter, Pujols there comes a time when you must lead.
As great as Barry Bonds was he couldn’t lead a team, neither could Jeter to be honest and that is where the front office had to do their job. They put the right supporting cast around their star players. The Yankees were able to do it with Jeter which in turn took pressure off his shoulders, the same with Pujols in St Louis. The Nats and Angels both have solid rosters but they have not managed to be that support system either player needs.
I would love to see both players excel, but baseball is a team sport and as they have come to notice, consecutive 40+ homers and 100+ RBI seasons is not enough to cut it.