Originally written on Monkey with a Halo  |  Last updated 6/6/12

It’s hard not to think about the Angels without considering Mark Trumbo.  He’s pretty much put himself front and center, although he belongs in right. Sorry Tori.  Yesterday I was listening in on some audio as Trumbo tried to explain how one day he could have the worst professional day of his life and then go four for four the next day, which could have made him a little crazy.  Like me.  He must have tried to explain this so many times and in so many ways, to media, to friends, to a life partner.  You can’t be a hitter and hide a day like he had, unless you tip your cap.

So what is running through Mark's head as he peers out there, good day or bad, at a guy that has a state of the art arm and a rock the shape he's been throwing since he was 3 years old?  He's thinking, I'm gonna keep my eyes open because if I piss this guy off he'll decide he's Juan Marichal and my sideburns will be way up around my ears and I could have little red marks on the side of my face.  

Of course the pitcher is wondering what happens if Trumbo stays square and goes up the middle.   I miss Mickey Hatcher.  If he was still here, we could make it easy.  And I think this works for Trumbo:  watch the ball, can you see the spin?  When the ball looks big hit it as far as you can.  Pitchers like to get ahead in the count, you might see a fat pitch early.  We're getting paid for this, so there's no rush but don't get cheated.
If it was me in the batters box I'd say the pitcher had the edge.  But Mr. Trumbo is different.  I pulled up the video of his four for four, and standing there looking at the pitcher, Trumbo was smiling.  Not a ******** smile, a real one.  He wasn't worried where his feet were, or if his hips were square.  He was just looking out there at the rock thrower.  Like, dude you're cool but I'm not caring what comes out of your hand.  I'm going to hit it.

I'm not sure who it was but someone turned him loose and said have fun.

I listened to his audio description about that game, and the wonder came through in his voice.  How did I do that, he seemed to ask.  I seem to recall he was a pitcher to begin with, which could help in the long run.  He's thrown a rock here and there.  Meanwhile, he’s learning to hit.  His joy has made me remember how it felt to play the game, but the point is he knows every day changes and you play if you can, not for the numbers.

I don’t know why when I watch Trumbo I think of Don Mincher.  I think we’ll see Mr. Trumbo demonstrate some toughness over the years, like Mincher: this solid guy that was always there.  I don’t think Trumbo is going to hit .330 over the course of his career but he will put the fear of a hanging
breaking ball in a pitcher’s head.  I’d throw him a pitch from second base, no way I’m getting closer.

Trumbo was not meant as the right-fielder of the future, but there he is.  My take is give him a chance to play and he’ll stand out there on the rocks or wherever he’s penciled in.  He’ll drop in on a helicopter.  I like that player on the team. I'll so crack up when next spring he's moved to catcher but he won't blink.  Wilson and Conger will be dropping dual loads if Scioscia just wonders how Trumbo tosses down to second. 
Mincher was like that, back in the day when if you could hit 20 home runs you were a stud.  The similarity between them is in attitude- guys that don’t need to say they’re the best but leave a pitch  over the plate and the job is done.  A professional ballplayer that is always trying to learn.  I am a bit amused at Trumbo, although I’d never chuckle where he could hear me.  He’s so young I’m not sure I can completely respect him but I’d say that his level of effort is consistent.  I think he played with the same effort in those two games that were night and day to him. 

He showed up, spit in his hands and looked for the lumber.  A pro, he didn’t freak about the results even as they came out polar opposites on successive days, he wasn’t pushed around by daily results.


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