Mallex Smith spent break sleeping in a tent

July 19th, 2020

SEATTLE -- After going 3-for-5 with a double in in his first intrasquad game on Saturday night, Mariners outfielder Mallex Smith told reporters on a video call that he spent much of the 3 1/2-month pandemic shutdown at his parents’ house near Tallahassee, Fla., where he worked out on their sizable property and often slept outside while getting in touch with himself and nature.

“I can do everything from hitting on the land to sleeping in a tent, and I did both,” Smith said. “I slept outside all the time. My mom begged me to come inside, but I actually appreciated being outside in the tent. There’s woods and everything in our yard … snakes and all kinds of creatures.”

There was no WiFi or Internet connection, however.

“No, which was another reason I was out there, just to be out there and stay away from as much technology and radiation as possible,” Smith said. “Just enjoy the peace and serenity of the outside, the crickets and whatever was rattling in the bushes.”

The 27-year-old spent the past few weeks at his in-season residence in Seattle, but perhaps his pandemic regimen and tent time paid off as he looked sharp and was running well in his intrasquad debut despite the late clearance to camp.

“I would say it’s pretty rewarding,” Smith said. “Maybe the electrons from the Earth put some good juju in my body. Let’s see how this goes on as we continue to progress through this season.”

Smith said he’d stick with the team’s protocol of not specifying why he was a late arrival to camp, but he readily acknowledged he’s thrilled to be back.

“It’s rewarding,” said Smith, who led the league with 46 stolen bases last year. “I had to spend some time just off with this whole situation. So finally being able to get back on the field is a fulfilling feeling.

“More than anything, I felt happy. You sit out for so long you start thinking about life after baseball, with the whole COVID extended period. So to actually get out there and play a competitive game, I was just excited. At a time like this, you don’t realize how good you’ve got it until it gets taken from you.”