DETROIT -- Rivalries are good for professional sports, and nothing is better than matchups between two star players.
The problem is, the nature of baseball doesn't necessarily lend itself to that.
So while it's great to have Mike Trout on the same field as Miguel Cabrera in Detroit this weekend, and there will be a lot of attention paid to Trout playing against fellow young superstar Bryce Harper for the first time in Washington, D.C., next week, they don't necessarily match up against one another.
"We're both position players, so we're not really going to face each other," Trout said. "We're both going to try, obviously, to get on base, get some hits. But I think when you try to do too much, that's when you get in trouble."
Trout and Harper exchange text messages every once in a while, but besides being on the same Arizona Fall League team in 2011 and playing against one another in the All-Star Game last year, the two haven't spent much time on the same field. And they aren't necessarily that close.
"I'm not best friends with him," Trout said. "But we both root for each other."
Harper, about a year younger than the 22-year-old Trout, was benched in Saturday's sixth inning for not hustling out of the batter's box on a grounder back to the mound. Nats skipper Matt Williams called it "the inability to run 90 feet," and Harper said he understood the decision.
"I saw that," Trout said. "For me, I run everything out. You never know what could have been on his mind. I know he's hurting with a tight quad. But that's the way they play over there [hustling all the time], and you have to respect that. I think [Harper] handled it the right way, understood what he did, and hopefully he never does it again."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less