With Derek Jeter Who Will Be Our Next Captain?
Yes Derek Jeter was a great player, yes he was ruthless competitor and champion but maybe his greatest accomplishment was his clean and unblemished image. As the captain of the world’s most famous team in the world’s most famous city, Jeter was constantly flocked to and followed by hoards of media, not once did he slip up. In age of Baseball when steroid use became commonplace amongst the games greatest, not once was there even a rumor about Jeter. Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Roger Clemens, Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi, Rafael Palmeiro, Ryan Braun, these players names bring along traits like cheater and liar, while Jeter’s is spotless winner. These players represent a large portion of the reason for baseball’s recent popularity decline. A generation of famed and adored players who have been exposed for their deceitful and dishonorable ways. These players account for more than 12 MVP’s, 7 Cy Young’s and 5 members of the 500 home run club. They represent a generation of the game that brings along so many questions of who was on what and when and how it could take so long to realize.
Now that Jeter is officially retired Baseball is in dire need of a new face, a new player who is able to carry Jeter’s immaculate champion torch. Sports can and have been saved by the players who represent them, the stars on the forefront of the publics mind and concentration. A sport in the midst of population decline such as baseball needs a bright, fresh and young new face to lead the way. The way the rivalry and eventual friendship between Magic Johnson and Larry Bird saved the NBA’s popularity in the 80’s. A league that struggled with a drug problem, whose diminishing popularity forced TV blackouts and finals games broadcasted on a tape delay. Johnson and Bird had the image of fierce competitors as well as being adored by their fans bases. They were able to grasp the public’s interest and help to begin to turn the NBA into a now billion-dollar business. Coming out of the steroid era and losing its most respected and admired clean star baseball needs that same dynamic player to seize the eyes of the public.
That player is Mike Trout. Trout is the perfect player to replace Jeter as the face of baseball. Some may argue that Miguel Cabrera or Clayton Kershaw maybe the better option but Trout is to me the obvious choice. Trout like Kershaw plays in Los Angeles, one of the leagues biggest markets, but unlike Kershaw trout is a position player and thus plays everyday giving him the advantage in the highlight and every night appeal categories. There are other players who have the comparable statistics to Trout but none perpetuate the perfect image for baseball that Trout does. Trout is an incredibly athletic, fast and powerful player that dominates the game in all facets, making him always incredibly exciting to watch. Trout is also only 23 years old and his game to improve and his potential his limitless. Maybe most importantly he is the perfect cover boy for the type of marketing the MLB will need to do to increase its popularity again. Baseball is known, as America’s past time and Trout is the perfect clean cut, American, star to be the face of the game just as Jeter was. Trout has shown that he is more than ready to assume this role as this year he lead the Angels to the best record in baseball, while putting together an MVP campaign.
Ben Touger | News Cult