Baseball fans aren’t the only ones becoming restless as they wait for the coronavirus outbreak to be stemmed and shutdowns to be lifted.
Angels star Mike Trout and his teammates are finding ways to battle the safer-at-home blues too.
“I’m going crazy,” Trout said Thursday in an interview broadcast by MLB Network. “I’m driving my wife crazy. [Pitcher] Michael Kohn is staying with me and I think my wife’s about to kick us both out of the house.”
Trout was supposed to spend Thursday preparing for a nationally televised season opener against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. He was, instead, sitting in the living room of his Newport Beach home, speaking to MLB Network host Harold Reynolds about how disorienting the last two weeks have been.
MLB players, like athletes in other leagues around the globe, have been in a holding pattern since the NBA’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for the coronavirus infection March 11. They don’t know when, or if, baseball will resume. Most scattered to their offseason homes after MLB canceled spring training March 13.
Trout spurned the colder climate of his native New Jersey, where he lives during the winter, for the comforts of Southern California.
Since returning from the Angels’ spring training facility in Tempe, Ariz., Trout has spent most mornings running hill sprints alongside Angels strength coach Lee Fiochi, lifting weights in first baseman Albert Pujols’ home gym and playing catch at a youth league field near his house. He likened those efforts to an offseason routine, “just maintaining that strength.”
A noted prankster, Trout has also pulled a couple of stunts. In videos posted on his new TikTok account, Trout squirts water at his unsuspecting housemate Kohn from a balcony overlooking a barbecue area and chips a golf ball from the second floor landing of his home into a red plastic cup below.
“Doing the same thing you guys are doing,” he said, “wondering when the season’s gonna start.”
Trout is excited for baseball to start back up again.
“Hopefully we have an opening day sometime this year,” he said. “When they were talking about canceling the season, [I was like,] that’s crazy. We’re playing. We gotta play. That’s the mentality we have.”
But Trout, whose wife, Jessica, is pregnant with their first child, also recognized the importance of following safety guidelines recommended by the government.
“This stuff with the virus is pretty crazy,” he said. “It’s scary. You’re trying to protect your family, you gotta protect others. The social distancing, the six feet away [recommendations], this is some serious stuff. I don’t want my wife to get it or any of us to get it. Luckily we’ve been just staying in the house and staying safe.”