Rays rookie Kevin Kiermaier joined Booger and Rich to talk about his first season in the big leagues and what it’s like to get through the grind of a team slump.
Kiermaier said he got the call on Friday that he was heading to LA to fill in for Desmond Jennings. He said he didn’t expect to be in the starting lineup until someone told him a few hours before the game. He was glad to get his first hit in his second AB.
Kiermaier had a great catch in the outfield on Sunday and had his first career HR as well. He said it felt good to go out and make a great play for David Price.
Kiermaier admitted they haven’t played as well as they’ve wanted to but everyone is positive and there are plenty of good vibes in the clubhouse. He said Joe Maddon works in mysterious ways but it always tends to work. He keeps it loose in the clubhouse with road trip themes and makes guys laugh by bringing animals in and keeping it fun.
The Rays have been criticized heavily for the amount of players suspended for positive drug tests in the minor leagues. Kiermaier said that it’s one of those unfortunate things that happens through baseball. Every spring training you’re told that you’re not only embarrassing yourself but you’re embarrassing your team too.
Kiermaier also gave us what was possibly the best Jay-Z impression we’ve ever heard (Jump ahead to the 9:30 mark):