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Mike Trout says it will be a ‘failure’ if Team USA did not win WBC


Mike Trout’s beloved Philadelphia Eagles play Saturday. He’ll be in attendance.

“I’m going to be up there screaming,” he mentioned.

The Super Bowl takes place subsequent month, and the Eagles might be there. The World Baseball Classic takes place the next month, and Trout might be there.

The Angels’ star heart fielder is the captain of Team USA. The Eagles, like Team USA, have a home-field benefit. And, as Trout famous, every is a prime seed.

For the primary time in his 13-year profession, Trout is taking part in baseball’s foremost worldwide match — not for goodwill, not for bonding with different gamers, not for rising the sport.

“The whole reason I signed up: trying to win this thing,” Trout mentioned. “There is nothing else.

“Anything else is a failure.”

Team USA is the defending WBC champion, successful in 2017 after Japan received the primary two editions of the match and the Dominican Republic received the third. Trout, who declined to play after his 2012 American League rookie-of-the-year season and 2016 AL MVP season, mentioned he watched the 2017 video games and appreciated the environment and depth of the match.

“That’s what I regretted,” he mentioned. “I should have been out there.”

As captain, he recruited some gamers, and others reached out to him. The first participant he recruited, Trout mentioned: Bryce Harper, with whom he has been in contrast since they every received rookie-of-the-year awards in 2012.

When Harper signed with the Philadelphia Phillies, he vowed to recruit Trout, who as an alternative signed a contract extension with the Angels.

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“Look, this is a chance we get to play together,” Trout mentioned he informed Harper, “and I think it would be a pretty cool moment.”

Harper is out after elbow surgical procedure, however the USA roster nonetheless options such stars as Mookie Betts, Clayton Kershaw and Will Smith from the Dodgers, plus the likes of Nolan Arenado, Paul Goldschmidt and Trea Turner.

Shohei Ohtani, left, and Mike Trout, celebrating an Angels win on July 6, 2022, in Miami, may face one another within the World Baseball Classic.

(Lynne Sladky / Associated Press)

Once the WBC concludes, Trout will return to the Angels, in the hunt for the primary postseason victory of Trout’s profession. No main league group has gone longer and not using a playoff look than the Angels, who final performed within the postseason in 2014.

The Angels this winter have added veterans in pitchers Tyler Anderson and Carlos Estevez, infielders Brandon Drury and Gio Urshela and outfielder Hunter Renfroe, with basic supervisor Perry Minasian fortifying a lineup that collapsed final season amid accidents to Trout, infielders Anthony Rendon, David Fletcher and Jared Walsh and outfielder Taylor Ward.

“I think Perry has done a great job bringing in some pieces that we were missing last year,” Trout mentioned.

Shohei Ohtani, the AL MVP in 2021 and the runner-up final yr, can depart the Angels as a free agent after the approaching season. Trout mentioned he and Ohtani mentioned the WBC final season, and with it the likelihood that Trout may bat in opposition to Ohtani and Team Japan.

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“I get a front-row seat every time he pitches,” Trout mentioned. “It’s pretty nasty. Every person I talk to that faces him says they don’t want to be in the box. It’s going to be interesting. I’m looking forward to it. He’s one of my good friends, so it’s going to be fun.”

Trout referred to as the Japan roster “stacked” however mentioned Ohtani has been attempting to influence him that he may not be one of the best participant on the group. As he informed the story on a Zoom on Friday, Trout laughed.

“There’s no way,” Trout mentioned, “that there’s somebody better.”


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