Earlier this week, Los Angeles Angels superstar and Millville, N.J., native Mike Trout told reporters that a day didn’t go by during the offseason without someone asking when he was coming to Philadelphia to play for the Phillies.
So it must have been nice for the seven-time All Star, who will become a free agent in 2020, to get away from the speculation and focus on one of his passions — the weather
Trout once again did some storm tracking Thursday, hopping on social media to catalogue an unusually powerful snowstorm that covered parts of Arizona (and buried Flagstaff under three feet of snow).
The superstar was so excited about the unlikely weather event that he drove about 80 miles north of the Angels’ spring training camp in Tempe, Ariz., to Payson, Ariz., to follow the storm.
Trout reported the snow and the difficult driving conditions to Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore.
“I find myself jealous, but proud of his weather find today!” Cantore wrote on Twitter.
At this point, it’s well known that Trout is a bit of a weather nut, telling former Yahoo Sports reporter Jeff Passan he has a special folder on his phone labeled “Weather,” where he can scroll through different forecast models, such as the Global Forecast System, European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, and North American Ensemble Forecast System, and keep watch over both short- and long-range forecasts.
Trout has made several appearances on the Weather Channel since he began exchanging messages in Cantore in 2015. In January 2018, when a “bomb cyclone” dumped four inches of snow at Philadelphia International Airport, Trout communicated with Cantore so much it annoyed his wife, Jessica.
"There’s no question that he would have been a meteorologist if he wasn’t a phenomenal baseball player,” Cantore said on MLB Network Radio at the time. “He really loves weather. He’s a total geek about it and it’s great talking to him.”
The Phillies seem to be in demand
Even without knowing whether Bryce Harper will end up in Philadelphia (though recent smoke signals are optimistic), national sports networks are front-loading their broadcast schedule with Phillies games.
FS1 announced on Thursday that it would kick off it regular-season coverage with the Phillies’ game against the Atlanta Braves at Citizens Bank Park on Saturday, March 30.
A day later, ESPN will kick off it’s 30th season of Sunday Night Baseball with Phillies-Braves on Sunday, March 31, at 7 p.m. Matt Vasgersian, Alex Rodriguez and Jessica Mendoza will handle the call. Prior to the game, Phillies fans might also get some analysis on Baseball Tonight by Ryan Howard, who just signed a multi-year deal with ESPN.
ESPN will also air the Phillies’ spring training match-up against the New York Yankees on Tuesday on ESPN+, the network’s over-the-top video streaming service.
The Phillies kick off their Grapefruit League schedule Friday against the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:05 p.m. You won’t be able to watch the game locally, but you can hear it on 94.1 WIP. Scott Franzke, Larry Anderson and Kevin Frandsen will call the game.
• Kevin Harlan’s call of a naked football streaker during a 2016 Monday Night Football game for Westwood One remains one of the best announcing moments of all time. But his call of Boston Celtics forward Marcus Morris getting covered in a fan’s beer during a match-up with the Milwaukee Bucks on TNT might be just as funny.
• The Big Lead’s Ryan Glasspiegel offered some harsh criticism of ESPN’s NBA Countdown on Thursday, writing that well-paid host Michelle Beadle “has not done anything to distinguish the program as a destination” and that the show “rarely if ever creates news or nuggets for the broader conversation.” Meanwhile, TNT’s Inside the NBA just went viral again (practically a weekly occurrence) over comments Charles Barkley made about Jussie Smollett.