> It’s easy to become disheartened if you’d like to see players operate on a level playing field, and if you’d like to root for players without fear of their reputations getting tainted down the road. It’s easy to get swept up in PED hysteria when it’s being shoved down our throats, when all the baseball stories we consume seem to lead with tales of more players implicated, more looming suspensions and pending appeals, more disputes that seem to tarnish the sport’s image. It’s easy if you ignore this:
> You shake your head at Mike Trout. As a 20-year-old rookie last year, he triggered comparisons to Mickey Mantle, the kind of proclamations that would normally be regarded as ridiculous and overheated, but seemed just right in this case. Whenever anyone does anything that extreme in baseball, we wait for the inevitable regression to the mean, the blast of ice water that reminds us how greatness is fleeting, and that extraordinary performances are bound to fizzle out. Only Trout is not cooperating, not when his offensive numbers this year are a carbon copy of what he did last year (.326/.399/.564 in 2012, .321/.400/.559 in 2013). He has silenced the skeptics, adding more preposterous feats to his résumé all the time. It’s 12:21 a.m. on a Tuesday night, you’ve got to be up in six hours to get to work, the underachieving Angels are playing some lousy team … and you watch the game anyway, hoping to catch Trout doing something amazing, because your dad and your granddad told you stories about The Mick, and Mantle 2.0 is alive and well and there for your viewing pleasure.
I picked my favorite paragraph, but Keri also talks about Puig, McCutchen, and Cabera. Of course, my favorite story this baseball season is probably the first place Boston Red Sox.[^fn1]
[^fn1]: Well, first place until they face David Price and the Rays again tonight.