Mike Trout interview -AUDIO LINK
Today I got the chance to talk to Mike Trout over the phone about the new This Is Now ad from BODYARMOR, as well as some good Angels baseball questions. We also find out what Johnny Giavotella nickname he prefers, and what it was like when Mike met Gronk. You can listen to the full audio above, or check out the transcription below.
Josh Mayhood: Hey Mike. Josh from Halos Heaven, how's it going?
Mike Trout: Good, how are you?
JM: So far so good, can't complain. Thanks for taking the time out, I'm a huge fan of course, and I'm beyond excited to speak with you and go over this new BODYARMOR spot I've been seeing tearing up the Internet today, and you teased it a bit on your Twitter feed yesterday. But before we get to that let me ask you a few Angels questions.
You guys are on a five game winning streak. And it hasn't just been a grind. You guys have been mashing the ball, 13 homers over five games. Is this just favorable matchups or has something genuinely clicked this lineup?
MT: You know I think it was just time some balls started to fall. We've been having great at bats and scratching out wins and stuff and a lot of our outs have been right at people.
JM: Yeah don't hit anymore comebackers at David Price...
MT: (laughs) Yeah, you know for the first month or two we weren't getting that big hit and now one through nine... whoever's in that lineup has been coming through and been doing their job.
JM: Last night you hit a jack on an 0-2 count, and you've been pretty solid this year on 0-2 counts in general. Is there any special mindset you have that gives you such unique success in that count?
MT: No, I think it's just trying to get my foot down through the pitch, try to recognize it and not try to do too much you know? Just see if it's a strike or if it's a close pitch, and to foul it off or try to put it in play, you know, make an impression on the defense.
JM: I gotta get to this new BODYARMOR ad but first, real quick, if you don't mind, let us know how you got started with BODYARMOR. That was the first thing you chose to endorse as a pro right?
MT: Yeah. Growing up I always wanted to be a part of a sports drink and BODYARMOR came up to me and I just saw it as a great opportunity to really expand the brand and it's really blown up over the past few years. It's fun to be a part of you know? It's good for my body, the hydration. Some guys are really dehydrated all the time, it helps with form, during and after workouts and obviously on the field.
JM: Yeah, when I grew up people said drink something else if you want to be like Mike, but I think it's time we need to be like a different Mike, so I think you're on the right path there. The commercial, for those readers here that haven't seen it yet (it's going to be posted in the same article where I do this interview so don't worry folks), but the theme is THIS IS NOW and it kind of puts the BODYARMOR athletes in hilarious throwback costumes and period sets, like James Harden in an afro and Rob Gronkowski as a 70s hockey goalie, to sort of drive home the point that the sports drink world hasn’t really evolved that much over the years, especially relative to how hardcore athletes such as yourself can train these days. So what do you think has changed the most with sports, nutrition and hydration over all those years?
MT: Obviously there's a lot of sports drinks out there but BODYARMOR is all natural; it's got potassium, electrolytes, a lot of vitamins, low sodium. It offers a lot more than the other sports drinks, like you said, over the years with technology and equipment that we have now and what is involved, the gear...and now sports drinks like BODYARMOR are stepping up and it's huge.
JM: I was going to say, you're not exactly a nutritionist and I'm not blaming you for that career path, trust me. I'm quite happy with Mike Trout the baseball player, but if you were to put your athlete / nutritionist hat on, you're saying that BODYARMOR separates itself from other sports drinks by having the extra hydration, potassium... as far as how it separates itself?
MT:Yeah and it's all natural. There's a lot of sports drinks out there with artificial flavors and BODYARMOR is all natural.
JM: Back to the video: in it we see you donning an outfit that's usually relegated to nineteen-eighties tennis stars. You look kind of like a really buff Andre Agassi. Was this your favorite part of the ad? Getting to rock that glorious and breathtaking mullet?
MT:(laughs) I've never had long hair so it was pretty crazy putting a wig on.
JM: Did you get to keep the wardrobe?
MT: No but I could have but I figured I would just leave it there.
JM: Ah, probably for the best!
MT: Just to be a part of it and see how making it, putting a commercial together, it's pretty cool and I got to meet a couple guys like Gronk and we got to meet Buster and I just had fun with it. All the commercials I do I just try to have fun with it and hope it always comes out good
JM: Do you think Mark Gubicza is going to take it rough, like you’re trying to upstage the sweet hair he had on so many of his 80’s baseball cards?
MT:(laughing) Now you know I really hadn't thought about that but if I see him today I'll probably mention it. I think I probably had a better look today than he did back then.
JM: The mullet gauntlet has been dropped.
JM: I got to mention the people you got to work with on this. I can honestly say that BODYARMOR has a sick line up of athletes like Andrew Luck, Richard Sherman, Buster Posey... but I got asked about the one and only Gronk. Rob Gronkowski. I know he was at Angel Stadium earlier in the season to throw out the first pitch. Did you have any pointers for him like "hey don't spike this into the ground on your own field"?
MT: He actually told me that he was going to spike it and then he threw an 85 mile per hour fastball and it almost went right by my face
JM: That's awesome.
MT: Yeah he's an unbelievable dude, unbelievable athlete...yeah he's a great dude.
JM: He's unbelievable at a lot of things. Did he attempt to teach you how to twerk?
MT: (laughing) Nah, obviously he's known for that stuff but...
JM: That's not your style...
MT:... but he's a good dude let's just put it that way.
JM: This is BODYARMOR’s first foray into digital ads, and it’s quite a good start. Any plans for more of these spots before season ends?
MT: You know, not that I know of right now but if they sign off I'm willing to do it.
JM: The thing about actual body armor is an opponent is always trying to identify its vulnerabilities. Last season, word got around that your vulnerability was the high strike, pitches high and inside in general. How did you make the adjustments? What sort of work did you put in to try achieve better contact in the top third of the zone?
MT: There's always things you can do in the cages, like the high ball on the tee. The other thing is first just trying to get on top of the baseball, and I think the biggest thing is just swinging at strikes. Getting up and down, and swinging at strikes and a majority of them are falling off in the zone or off the plate high, so its getting my pitch and just hitting it and not trying to do too much.
JM: Hey, that's all you gotta do. Okay, Mike. Two quick Angels questions and I’ll let you go. First, the fans love Johnny Giavotella already, he's already becoming a folk hero, but there’s some questions about his nickname. C.J. Wilson has proposed Little Italy, Sicilian Slasher and The Entertainer. Which one does Mike Trout like?
MT: I gotta go Little Italy.
JM: Okay, last question: Can you spell "Nieuwenhuis"?
MT: Oh, no! No chance! I just call him Kirk. I just call him Kirk, that's all I need to know. Sosh and Dino write the lineup cards. Everyday I go up to Sosh and Dino and ask them if they can spell Nieuwenhuis. They're getting pretty good. The first day they were a little off but now they're getting good at it.
JM: Thanks again, Mike, I really appreciate you taking time out of your day. I'm going to let you go, but I do appreciate you doing this interview with me. We’re going to be rooting for you guys all season long. Wish you nothing but the best in the future, especially with BODYARMOR. This is the sports drink of the future and hopefully we’ll be seeing more BODYARMOR get dumped on our guys after some ninth inning wins.
JM: Take care, Mike!
MT: Yeah, thank you!
There you have it folks. My conversation with Mike Trout. Oh, and of course I'd be remiss if I didn't show you the video in question. Mike's scene is pretty hilarious, and I"m fully expecting one of you to make a GIF out of him and his mullet, for future post-game usage. Check it out below!
Thanks again to Mike Trout and BODYARMOR.