Many players would be thrilled to be compared to Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout right now, but that comparison doesn't go over well for the phenom's teammate, Albert Pujols.
Trout has put up incredible numbers through the first two years of his career. His numbers have been so good that he has made the American League All-Star team and finished runner-up in the AL Most Valuable Player race in both seasons.
Who wouldn't want to be compared to that?
If anyone has the right to be offended by that comparison, it's the man who has been called the best player of his generation.
Pujols has put up staggering numbers in his 13-year career. He is a career .321 hitter and has clubbed 492 home runs. The slugger started his career with 10 straight seasons of at least a .300 average, 30 home runs and 100 RBI. He missed extending that streak to 11 seasons by .001 and one RBI.
However, Pujols hasn't been as dominant since leaving St. Louis for Los Angeles before the 2012 season. His average has dropped every year since 2008. His numbers last year were the lowest that they had ever been, thanks to an injury that limited him to 99 games.
Oh, he's also won three National League MVP awards and been named to nine All-Star teams.
This spring, someone asked Pujols, "Are you motivated to put up the same numbers as Mike Trout?"
In other words, is a future Hall of Famer motivated by a player entering his third full season?
The first baseman talked about his disbelief over the question, via USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale:
Can you imagine someone saying that to me? I felt like saying, 'Come on, are you serious? Are you really asking me that? Check out my numbers. I know what Mike Trout has done in his first two years is pretty special, but will you look at my numbers. I've been doing this for almost 14 years.'
The only guy in baseball who can match the numbers I've put up is Barry Bonds, and someone is actually asking if I can put up numbers like Mike Trout?
Are you freaking kidding me?
The 34-year-old has every right to be upset at the question. Trout has been extremely impressive through two years, but Pujols has a track record that would make his young teammate envious.
In no way is the veteran trying to take away from anything the youngster has done.
"He's a great kid who always wants to learn and is so humble," Pujols said. "But if it takes someone comparing me to Mike Trout to motivate me, it's time for me to get out of the game."
The two form a dangerous duo in the Angels lineup, and they have the potential to put up very impressive numbers.
Although many would see it as an honor, Pujols isn't a fan of being compared to Trout.
[H/t Big League Stew]
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!