Rays’ Austin Meadows talks trade to Tampa Bay, rhinos and the key to his 2019 success

first_imgMORE: Watch ‘ChangeUp’ a new MLB live whiparound show on DAZNSPORTING NEWS: Congratulations on the enormity of your success this season. How does it feel?AUSTIN MEADOWS: Thank you! It feels good. Just being able to play everyday. More just helping the team win, it’s been good.SN: You hear you were traded — who did you get the call from when you were traded?AM: The front office from the Rays called me. Just basically walked me through the organization.SN: What’s going through your mind at that point?AM: A lot. You wonder how the guys are gonna welcome you, where you’re gonna go. I ended up going to Triple-A in Durham. There’s a lot of things going through your head.You wonder if you’ll ever see your teammates again, my old teammates with the Pirates. There’s definitely a lot going through your head. But I was more excited, than anything, and anxious, to start my career with the Rays.SN: Obviously there was a logjam in the Pittsburgh outfield, you come here and you know you’re gonna get a chance.AM: That’s the biggest thing, knowing that I was going to get the opportunity over here. Being able to come over here to a team that is hungry, to a team that had 90 wins. It was a great time to come over. They were very welcoming when I came over, it felt like I had been here for a long time. SN: You come up and play a few games for Tampa last year. Struggle is a relative term — you didn’t really struggle. But what was it like going through that period, where you’re traded and you don’t really have the success you want?AM: For me, you realize the plan in place. You realize what (Tampa Bay) gave up to get me, them giving up Chris Archer to get me and Tyler Glasnow and Shane Baz. To sit down and realize how badly they want you, and to realize you’re a part of their future. For me, that’s more what it’s about, it’s about the future and the potential.Last year, I only got about a couple weeks with the big leagues with the Rays, so obviously it was a really small sample size. But being able to start the year off fresh here and play everyday has been a blessing.SN: I actually asked Nate Lowe this question. There are certain teams in baseball that have an attitude, the A’s, the Rays, and so forth. What does it mean to be a Tampa Bay Ray?AM: It means a lot. For me to be able to come in here and be here for almost a year now, it’s been nothing but great times. Especially with my teammates, the guys I’ve made good relationships with. But to be a Tampa Bay Ray in general, it means a lot. It’s a great division that we’re in. Great baseball being played. We have a lot of talent, being a part of a talented group of guys is always fun. Being a Tampa Bay Ray, it means the world.SN: All right, some rapid fire, don’t overthink these. You’re in the gym, you’re lifting weights, you’re getting pumped. What’s your go-to song or artist?AM: I was just listening to Avicii today. Some nice, upbeat music to kinda get me in the mood. SN: Pizza or tacos?AM: Ooohhh, pizza. New York pizza.SN: Last question: if a rhino and a hippo were to get into a fight, who would win?AM: A rhino.SN: See, Nate (Lowe) said hippos.  AM: Why?SN: He said they’re very aggressive. But if you were to get two equally aggressive animals, I think the rhino would win.AM: I think the rhino would win. The weight, the horn, I think it would overpower the hippo. Throughout the 2019 MLB season, Sporting News will run short interviews with players, highlighting their favorite foods, activities and more.In this edition, SN’s Joe Rivera got two minutes with Rays outfielder Austin Meadows.last_img

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