The first full week of spring training has arrived and that means position players are reporting to camp. Among them: Angels superstar Mike Trout, the reigning AL MVP. Trout narrowly edged out Astros infielder Alex Bregman for the award in the 2019 season.
Since then, it has been revealed Bregman's Astros employed a sophisticated (and illegal) sign-stealing scheme throughout their 2017 World Series championship season, and early in 2018 as well. MLB has punished the Astros and the club finally got around to publicly apologizing last week,.
The typically reserved Trout reported to spring training Monday and he did not hold back while discussing the Astros. He told reporters, including The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya, that he's lost respect for Houston, and thinks the punishment was light.
"They cheated ... I don't agree with the punishment ... I lost respect for some of those guys."
"Going up to the plate knowing what's coming ... that would be a lot of fun."
The Athletic's Marc Carig adds Trout said he feels the players should have been punished. The players escaped without punishment because MLB promised immunity in exchange for cooperating with the investigation.
Trout was also asked about the infamous Jose Altuve video, in which the second baseman refused to let his teammates rip off his jersey following his ALCS-clinching home run last year. Altuve says he didn't remove it because he's shy. .
"You can take my shirt off," Trout told Ardaya about the Altuve video. "If you hit a homer to send your team to the World Series at home, you can do whatever you want to me."
Trout is the game's best player but he is often criticized for being quiet and not going out of his way to grab attention. Well, here is the usually subdued Trout saying he's lost respect for a division rival and that MLB didn't do enough to punish them. That's a pretty big deal.
The Astros open the 2020 regular season against Trout's Angels on Thursday, March 26 in Houston.