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Albert Pujols, Mike Trout mock Fernando Rodney with arrow exchange (Video)

There’s a little bit of a beef brewing between the Angels and the Mariners this year.

The teams have been two of the best in the AL this season and are competing for a playoff spot from the AL West. They also had a great 3-game series in Anaheim over the weekend, with the teams splitting 3-2 extra-innings wins the first two games, and the Angels getting a walk-off 6-5 win on Sunday.

Albert Pujols arrowDuring their comeback in the 9th inning Sunday, Angels stars Albert Pujols and Mike Trout even mocked Mariners closer Fernando Rodney, who blew the save and took the loss.

Rodney walked Trout to start the 9th, and Pujols inside-outed a fastball down the right field line for a tying double to make the score 5-5. After Trout scored the tying run, he and Pujols exchanged arrows to mock Rodney, who fires a bow and arrow as his save celebration. Keep in mind that after escaping a jam in the 8th inning, Rodney did his arrow celebration and pointed it towards the Angels dugout.

As @lbsports notes, Rodney did the bow and arrow thing after ... on Twitpic

After allowing the tying run, Rodney gave up a single, intentional walk and got a double play. Following another intentional walk, Grant Green hit a walk-off RBI single to give the Angels their 59th win of the season.

There will be other days for Rodney, but you know this had to hurt. And he has no room to get mad at the Angels for mocking him when he started things by pretending to fire one of his arrows at the Angels dugout.

“Fernando’s animated. Our guys noticed it,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said after the game.

Angels starter Tyler Skaggs, who took a no decision, had even better quotes.

“I did not,” Skaggs said when asked if he saw Rodney fire the arrow at the Angels dugout, “but I heard about it and I’m glad we scored and won because that’s ridiculous. Just goes to show you — don’t rile up our team because we have a lot of good players. I’m looking forward to the rest of the season. I’m looking forward to the next time we play them.”

What goes around comes around. Also keep in mind that Rodney pitched for the Angels in 2010 and 2011 and was not happy by the end of his stint with the team. After losing the closer job in 2011, Rodney complained about his lack of a role and said the team should trade him. Maybe some of that beef with the coaches still lingers for him.

Here’s another angle for Pujols doing the bow and arrow:

MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger nailed Derek Jeter-Mike Trout prediction

Derek Jeter scored the first run for the American League on Tuesday night in his final MLB All-Star Game. After doubling off Adam Wainwright in the first, Jeter scored on a Mike Trout triple. One MLB Network analyst predicted that exact series of events before the game, and we have the video to prove it.

Trout spoke about how special the 2014 All-Star Game was going to be for Derek Jeter just hours before it started. Here’s what Greg Amsinger said would happen.

“It’s gonna be awesome man,” Amsinger said. “When you drive in Derek Jeter tonight in his final All-Star Game, it’s gonna be so cool. He’s gonna be at second base, you’ll hit a rope down the line, you’ll end up at third. He’s gonna tip his cap to you — it’s gonna be great.”

So the triple went over Yasiel Puig’s head instead of down the line — big freakin’ deal. Amsinger absolutely nailed that. Even if he said Jeter would hit a single and Trout would drive him in with a triple, we would still give credit. He called the entire thing perfectly.

Whether Wainwright grooved a pitch to Jeter or not, baseball is almost impossible to predict like that. Props to Amsinger even if he was guessing.

Greg-Amsinger-Mike-Trout

H/T MLB.com’s Cut 4

Mike Scioscia did not want Mike Trout doing Home Run Derby

Mike Trout home runMike Trout was hearing it from many of his fellow All-Stars on Monday in Minnesota about not being a part of the Home Run Derby, and the guy had to pass the buck onto his manager.

Trout is one of the biggest stars in the game and, with 22 home runs on the season (fourth in MLB), he certainly has the power to challenge for the crown. So why isn’t one of the fan favorites in the Derby? Trout says you can blame Mike Scioscia for that.

Trout says Scioscia didn’t want him to participate in the Derby because the manager felt it could wear out the All-Star candidate, make him prone to injury, and possibly mess up his swing.

But that won’t stop Trouty from doing it next season.

“If I get another chance, and if I said I wanted to do it,” Trout said via the Los Angeles Times. “Scioscia would be against it, but he would support it.

“I don’t think it will mess up my swing,” Trout said.

Does the Home Run Derby mess up a player? Nobody really knows the answer to that. There is a lot of conjecture but logic would tell you it doesn’t.

As a fan of the game, it would be nice to see Trouty in the derby. As an Angels fan, it’s just as well that he’s not. Bottom line? Trout should do what he wants.

Mike Trout hits walk-off home run to set off July 4 fireworks (Video)

Angels fans probably could not have envisioned a better ending to Friday night’s July 4th contest against the Houston Astros.

After falling behind 6-3 in the fourth, the Angels rallied to tie the game. Then in the 9th, Mike Trout took an 0-2 pitch at the ankles from Tony Sipp and blasted it out to left-center for a walk-off home run, giving the Angels a 7-6 win.

Trouty gave the fans a little treat by setting off the fireworks before the actual fireworks show following the game. It was his second walk-off home run of the season and 20th dinger overall. The celebration at the plate was pure madness as Trout’s jersey was ripped off by his teammates and he received congratulations from his coaches.

How do you even pitch to this guy? He took a pitch at the shins out for a walk-off home run.

Mike Trout walk-off

That was the same location as the grand slam he blasted off Chris Sale last month. If you’re a lefty, don’t give Trout anything low in the zone.

And how about these great quotes from teammate Kole Calhoun on Trout and what makes him such a good low-ball hitter.

“Drops the head on the ball good. He’s just a natural talent. It’s not human,” Calhoun said via Angels reporter Alden Gonzalez. “I mean, it’s getting to the point where we almost expect it.”

Kevin Durant says his favorite non-basketball athlete is Mike Trout

Mike Trout Angels

Kevin Durant held a Q&A session with some of his Twitter followers early Tuesday morning, and there were plenty of entertaining interactions. One of the more interesting facts we learned about K.D. came when he was asked who his favorite non-basketball athlete is.

Considering Durant could have said anyone in any sport, that must be pretty cool for Mike Trout. The Los Angeles Angels star is only 22 and already one of the best basketball players in the world — who happens to be three years older than him — has categorized Trout as his “favorite” player.

We also thought the way Durant avoided a question about his celebrity crush was pretty hilarious.

The Oklahoma City Thunder star is clearly very familiar with the way social media works.

Mike Trout hits record 489-foot home run at Kauffman Stadium (Video)

Mike Trout RoyalsMike Trout has been hotter than a Floyd Mayweather sidepiece lately, and the stud center fielder crushed what is going down as the longest home run in Angels and Kauffman Stadium history.

Trout took former teammate Jason Vargas deep in the first inning of Friday’s game on a 90-mph 3-1 fastball on the outer portion of the plate. Trout just blasted it to deep center field where it cleared the seats and landed to the deep part of the pool leading to the water fall.

The Royals estimated the homer at 445 feet, according to the LA Times’ Bill Shaikin, but ESPN Stats & Info, which is a leader in home run tracking, estimated it at 489 feet.

The 489-foot estimate gives Trout team and stadium records. He also is in plenty more elite company. Here are the details via ESPN Stats & Info:

The booming homer was the longest in Kansas City since Travis Hafner hit one 481 feet on April 15, 2012, and the longest ever in the history of the Angels franchise.

It was also the longest by an American League player since ESPN began tracking home runs, in 2006. The second-longest was a 488-foot shot by Edwin Encarnacion on September 1, 2012.

Trout’s homer was the longest by an Angels player since Vladimir Guerrero hit one 484 feet on July 30, 2006, and the longest in the majors since Giancarlo Stanton’s 494-footer on August 17, 2012.

Look at where the splash was for this one:

Mike Trout home run distance

Like Mark Gubicza said, that was Bo Jackson territory.

Mike Trout first MLB player since Ken Griffey Jr. to get Nike cleat

Mike Trout Nike cleats

Mike Trout is in his own category as a player on the field, and now he’s in elite company off of it.

Nike has created its first signature for a cleat for a player since they did with Ken Griffey Jr. The cleat is called the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout, and it’s part of an entire “Vapor Collection” of items/accessories.

The cleat, which is available as of June 20, was created with some of Trout’s insights and is lightweight and designed for speed.

Nike Lunar Vapor Trout

Via Nike’s website:

The first signature cleat for star outfielder Mike Trout, the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout redefines the balance of speed and power in baseball and embodies the future direction of the game. Informed by Trout’s own insights, the Nike Lunar Vapor Trout is designed for the directional speed needed to steal more bases, get to more balls in the outfield, and get out of the batters box quickly. Equipped with a durable, lightweight Nike Lunarlon foam midsole for comfort, the cleat features a split Pebax speed plate for ultra-responsive movement across the field. The midsole also informs a lively aesthetic that captures the spirit of Trout’s game and Nike Vapor technology – sleek, modern, athletic, and extremely fast.

In addition to the cleat, the Vapor Collection includes sliding tights, batting gloves, a sleeve, a cap and socks.

Below is a video of Trout talking about the cleat:

You’re probably wondering how it’s possible that Trout is the first Nike player since Griffey to get his own cleat and asking about Derek Jeter. Yes, Jeter had his own cleat, too, but that was made by the Jordan Brand, not Nike specifically.

Forearm bash to Big League Stew