Mike Trout's Legendary Fantasy Football League Is a Giant Opportunity for Major League Baseball
By Kyle Koster
The New York Mets and Los Angeles Angels were featured on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball and their production unit pulled all the strings required to make sure Mike Trout answered questions on-camera about all the drama surrounding the fantasy football league he oversees as commissioner. This was the for-fun and for-profit endeavor that led to bad blood between Joc Pederson and Tommy Pham, culminating in the latter smacking the former upside the head. Teed up by Karl Ravech, Trout gave his most detailed commentary on the situation to date.
Trout seems to be employing the Barney Stinson approach to life, accepting that even though things got weird, it's important to note that they were also legendary. He also continued to drop breadcrumbs suggesting the league will be under new management next year because who needs the hassle of dealing with waiver wires and squabbles over whether Tayson Hill should be listed as a tight end when you are on a $426 million contract?
My takeaway from the interview, which may have shown the most of Trout's personality, is that baseball should figure out a way to leverage this weird-turned-somewhat-interesting storyline. Netflix sparked interest into Formula One and the PGA Tour is hard at work doing the same with reality shows about the off-field exploits of its stars. Here we have Trout, one of the all-time greats who has yet to be ciphered and leveraged into generating buzz, at the forefront of a harmless scandal everyone loved to follow.
And if you think people wouldn't tune in to hear about someone else's fantasy football league, let me ask you a follow-up question. Why then are there people marching in the streets demanding that Rafi from The League get his own project? Checkmate there.
Desperate times call for desperate measures. If baseball needs some inspiration from the world of pigskin to grab more eyeballs, they should do it instead of lamenting their situation. There is great content to be had next year. Trout himself says it's the talk of the town. Allow it to continue to be.
This makes way too much sense so I'll be shocked if it gets done. Always hope though.