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Volume 26 No. 59
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Columnists: MLB Should Focus On Marketing Itself, Not Trout

Despite Trout's marketable talent, MLB tends not to emphasize players' individual brands

Despite there being calls that MLB should promote Angels CF Mike Trout more, the brand the league "should be promoting" is "Major League Baseball," according to Thom Loverro of the WASHINGTON TIMES. MLB has something that "both the NBA and the NFL don't: A brand that is part of American culture from the time kids are born until old age." The marketability of Trout, and whether he should do more to market himself, is "such a misguided debate and underscores" MLB's "failure to understand how to market and promote itself" (WASHINGTON TIMES, 7/20). In Detroit, Bob Wojnowski writes baseball "does a horrible job of building individual brands," figuring it can put the Yankees and Red Sox on national TV and "be done with it" (DETROIT NEWS, 7/20). USA TODAY's Nancy Armour writes baseball's "popularity is sagging," not because of Trout or any other player, but because the game has "not kept pace with time." The decrease in attendance over the first half of the season "cannot be attributed solely to weather problems," and everyone in baseball "ought to be alarmed." Fans are "clamoring for MLB to lift its antiquated 'home team' blackout rules for streaming games," and Commissioner Rob Manfred's response is to "criticize Trout's reluctant stardom." After "watching 'stars' like Barry Bonds, Alex Rodriguez and Ryan Braun drag baseball through the mud, Manfred should be grateful that Trout's headlines are limited to what he does on the field" (USA TODAY, 7/20).

QUESTIONABLE CALL? In Chicago, Barry Rozner writes it is "shocking that the commissioner would put MLB's failings on its best player," as well as "terribly insulting" (Chicago DAILY HERALD, 7/20). YAHOO SPORTS' Tim Brown wrote Manfred "did not say Mike Trout should conduct himself or his business in ways other than he already has." Manfred is "perfectly pleased with the player and person and businessman Mike Trout is" (, 7/19).