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 Mets outfielder Michael Conforto.
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SPORTING NEWS: Looking back on your rookie year (2015), how exciting was the call-up for you?
MICHAEL CONFORTO: Oh, man, it was very, very exciting. It kinda came out of nowhere. I was playing well at High-A, got moved up to Double-A. The major leagues weren’t on my radar, up until the team was kind of in a position where they could make a push or fall behind right around the trade deadline. I was playing well in Binghamton. Finally, the buzz started coming around that I might get called up.
SN: How much did that weigh on you, hearing you might get called up?
MC: It was more excitement than anything. I think I started to play a little better once that buzz started coming around. I was so excited, I had so much energy. Finally achieving my lifelong dream. I always felt that I would be here, but when it becomes real, it’s a special thing.
SN: You had success your rookie season, but you also dealt with a little bit of a slump early on. As a guy who skipped Triple-A, how tough was the slump to deal with?
MC: That was really, really hard. It was difficult to deal with the failure at this level. I was really lucky to have a lot of really, really good veteran guys helping me through that period of time. Then I kind of figured it out a little bit. Pitchers can execute at a much, much higher level than in Double-A. I just had to stay in my zone. It ended up being a good rookie year – better than good, going to the World Series, more than I had ever dreamed of. It was a lot of fun that first year.
SN: You had a massive hit vs. the Yankees (a go-ahead two-run double on July 2), and everyone mentioned that at-bat, but you get to second base and you’re really jacked up. Can you explain that feeling?
MC: It’s everything. Kind of busting out a little bit, knowing I had been struggling to get on base. It was the situation in the game, bottom of the eighth. We know we had Edwin (Diaz) warming up if we take the lead. Against the Yankees, packed house. It’s just all the emotion that comes from all that stuff.
I’m not overly emotional on the field typically, but that was one of those moments that just had to come out. I know it always gets the guys fired up. That was one of the moments I’ll remember, I think, when I look back on my career.
SN: All right: You’re in the gym, you’re getting pumped, you’re lifting, what’s your go-to song or artist?
MC: It’s usually Drake, not the poppy-type songs. The more hip-hop type songs. That’s what I’m talking about.
SN: Pizza or tacos?
SN: New York or Chicago style?
MC: New York.
SN: Batman or Iron Man, and why?
MC: I’m gonna go Iron Man. Why? I don’t know. They’re actually pretty similar in a lot of ways. I don’t know if I can tell you why. Iron Man flies around. He’s got all the gadgets.
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