Angels center fielder Mike Trout smiles during Saturday's loss to… (Larry W. Smith / European…)
The pause was long, almost uncomfortably so.
Ron Washington, the Texas Rangers' manager, was asked his pick for American League most valuable player. He thought and thought and thought some more, well aware he and the Rangers were playing in Anaheim.
"Three guys," Washington said. "One, that kid y'all have over here, Trout. Is it Trout?"
Yes, Mike Trout.
Washington followed with the stars of his team, Adrian Beltre and Josh Hamilton. Someone asked about Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers.
"That's four," Washington said. "Good thing about it is, you guys have to pick. If it was me, it might be four MVPs."
Cabrera leads the league with a .330 batting average, with Trout second at .329. Trout leads the league in runs scored with 116, with Hamilton second at 98 and Cabrera third at 97.
Hamilton leads the league in home runs with 42, and he is tied with Cabrera for the lead in runs batted in, with 123. Beltre is hitting .318 with 34 homers and 93 RBIs.
Washington acknowledged his bias toward Beltre and Hamilton, then lavished praise upon Trout, the Angels' rookie center fielder.
"He's the reason why the Angels are hanging around," Washington said. "He's been so consistent in every part of the game."
Washington suggested Trout was well beyond a rookie of the year.
"I don't think you'll see another one like him come around for a long time to come," Washington said.
For all that Trout does well, Washington said Trout could take greater advantage of his speed by becoming a better bunter.
"He could be more dangerous once he figures that out," Washington said.
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