TAMPA, Fla. -- Just like so many of us, coronavirus concerns broke quickly for Major League Baseball.
“It was definitely something we were not prepared for, but definitely a shock for all of us,” Tampa Bay Rays outfielder Austin Meadows said.
For Meadows, one day you’re in Port Charlotte for spring training then…
“You see a lot of guys go home. Everything comes to a halt,” Meadows said.
Spring training canceled, Opening Day delayed.
Meadows is coming off a breakout season after leading Tampa Bay with 33 home runs, 89 RBI and being selected as an American League All-Star.
“I was excited. Especially with the team that we have, the additions we made,” Meadows said. “Just getting to know the guys really well. I’m just excited to get back out with those guys.”
One of those guys, his throwing partner and free-agent signee from Japan, Yoshi Tsutsugo.
“He’s a really cool guy, a really special talent and a good person,” Meadows said. “I think i learned ‘thank you’ (in Japanese). I think it’s ‘arigato’ or something like that.”
Meadows is now working out at home and finding it can be very challenging.
“Trying to stay fit, stay in shape by running,” Meadows said. “We have our dog. I throw the ball she’ll go retrieve it. I’ll hit the ball, with my bat. Just try to find things to do. We’re limited. We don’t have weights or a weight room or what not.”
And with the rest of his free time…
“Learning how to cook a bit more, relying on that,” he said. “I have a boat in Port Charlotte. Me and my wife get to go in the water to quarantine and self-distance from people.”