Forbidden Love is a Cubs DNA series where our staff waxes poetic about a player on a team other than the Cubs. Maybe even one you think they should hate. In this installment, Staci's giving a whole lot of love for her Comeback Player of the Year, Baltimore Orioles OF Trey Mancini!
You might not know who Trey Mancini is, and that's understandable. After all, ever since Manny Machado packed his bags for the sunny shores of San Diego, there's not much to talk about in Baltimore. I mean, it's the Orioles. What's there to talk about?
See, the thing is, tho, that there's an actual good ballplayer still on the O's, and his name is Trey Mancini. And while Chris Davis is counting his considerable money to do, uh, not much, Mancini is still under arbitration while he actually contributes to the team. In fact, Mancini had a breakout year in 2019, when he hit .291/.364/.535 with a 134 wRC+ with 35 bombs.
What about 2020, you ask? Did Mancini opt out because of COVID? Well, not exactly. See, in spring 2020 Mancini was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer at just 27 years of age. If not for his status as a pro ballplayer whose health is carefully monitored, Mancini would have never been diagnosed so early--a fact he fully acknowledges. Even as Baltimore still does Baltimore things like asking the underpaid Mancini to take deferred salary on a one-year arb contract of $4.75M, he continued to be nothing but gracious about the state of his health and his status in the sport.
And in the best of news, Trey Mancini is, in fact, back and playing baseball this year! As odd as 2021 has already been, one of the feel-good baseball stories has been seeing pictures of Mancini in Orioles camp, getting ready to get back on the field since undergoing months of cancer treatments.
So if you don't usually think there's any reason to pay attention to the Baltimore Orioles, maybe give them a look this season and check in on Trey Mancini. I know I'll be watching him a rooting extra hard for his success!