Los Angeles Angels All-Star outfielder Mike Trout is the first baseball player since Ken Griffey Jr., to get a personal shoe designed by Nike. As part of the unveiling, Nike offered media members a chance to do a workout run by Trout's offseason trainer, Dan Richter.
ThePostGame, obviously knowing a thing or two about this intern's decorated junior varsity cross-country career, tapped me for the exercise. I'm still young enough to get carded (at R-rated movies, that is), and Trout himself told me that I look fit.
But truth be told, I'm a long way from my JV running and seventh-grade baseball heydays (season stat-line: 0-for-3 with five or six walks -- Billy Beane should have scouted me for that astounding OBP), so I was a little apprehensive about the prospect of doing Trout’s workout. ThePostGame's executive producer, Jeremy Berg, had gone through Kobe Bryant's regimen a few years earlier at a similar Nike event and claimed it left him sore for three weeks.
Even more intimidating was the idea of competing against a bunch of other reporters -- you know, the people who are always criticizing the world's best athletes for not running fast enough or hitting enough home runs. These people, I thought, must be at the peak of Herculean fitness and power.
Thankfully, Richter took it easy and led us through what must have been a tenth of Trout's real workout. I also felt an ego boost from running three sprints in 55 seconds when Trout does them in a minute. (What? He finishes six sprints in a minute. OK, let's ignore that irrelevant little detail.)
I touched the top of the Cal State Fullerton fence, and I'm sure that keeping track of a flying baseball while angling my body and timing the leap perfectly are pretty simple next steps to robbing a batter of a home run. We also went through other routine drills like shuffling and planking, which I successfully completed.
I bet Trout thinks he's really impressive with his own shoe and a fancy name for it like "Vapor." He and his corporate wardrobe still have nothing on my T-shirt from high school Senior Day. And sure, Trout has tallied more Wins Above Replacement (WAR) than any player in MLB history through his age-21 season, but perhaps he isn't familar with this concept.
Trout is two years older than I am, so maybe I still have enough time to develop the requisite strength, bat speed, pitch recognition, hops, endurance, agility, maturity and baseball IQ to become his equal on the diamond.