Stephen A. Smith is known for offering some head-scratching takes on ESPN First Take. However, Smith actually made good points on Wednesday, saying that the World Baseball Classic was a “must watch” event. Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, who's supposed to be the most knowledgeable baseball person on the show, is the one who made a truly questionable take in reference to the WBC and Mike Trout. His comments led to no shortage of reaction from the MLB world, per Jomboy Media.
Christopher “Mad Dog” Russo says Shohei Ohtani vs. Mike Trout shouldn’t be considered an epic at bat
“Why? Because they’re teammates? Trout does nothing but strikeout” pic.twitter.com/FnKlrbv9rs
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) March 22, 2023
“We're going to make this out to be an epic at-bat? Really?” Russo said on ESPN First Take, regarding the Mike Trout-Shohei Ohtani at-bat that ended the WBC championship game. “Did you see the headlines today? ‘Epic at-bat. Incredible moment.' What? Why, because they are teammates?”
Questioning the excitement of the long-awaited Trout-Ohtani World Baseball Classic showdown was one thing. However, Russo didn't stop there. He then proceeded to fire unnecessary shots at Mike Trout.
“Trout does nothing but strike out,” Russo said. “Trout struck out twice in the game! Everybody talks to me about Trout is (Joe) DiMaggio, I mean, Trout strikes out 175 times a year!”
Russo's World Baseball Classic and Mike Trout criticism led to backlash on Twitter.
“This is an absolute embarrassment. Mad Dog should never be allowed to talk baseball ever again,” Popular baseball YouTuber Fuzzy wrote.
“wtf is this,” Talkin' baseball said on Twitter.
“This gotta be the worst baseball take of all-time and we’ve seen some bad ones,” Jared Carrabis wrote.
“You know its bad when Stephen A Smith has a look of utter shock on his face,” A fan commented.
The World Baseball Classic was great for the sport. It drew no shortage of attention and got fans fired up for the season. It is surprising that Russo, who also works for MLB Network and is known for his baseball commentary, would offer such an alarming take on the matter.