St. Petersburg, Fla. — Francisco Mejia, the Tampa Bay Rays catcher, said what Isaac Paredes wouldn’t. Heck yes he enjoyed hitting a couple of long home runs against his former team.
“All baseball players ever want to do is get back against the team that just gave them away,” Mejia said.
Paredes, whom the Tigers traded to Tampa for Austin Meadows, hit a 411-foot homer to left field off Rony Garcia and a 404-footer to left-center off Wily Peralta, helping the Rays beat the Tigers, 6-1, in the finale Wednesday.
The two homers match his total in 57 games with the Tigers.
Paredes sat at his locker afterward, his arms folded in front of him, the smile not leaving his face.
“Of course, I wanted to give everything I had against them,” he said, through the Rays’ bilingual translator.
Apparently, Paredes heard some hooting from the Tigers’ bullpen, which is located down the left-field line, when he rounded the bases.
“After the first one, I heard guys in the bullpen say some things,” he said. “After the second, I don’t think they wanted to say anything.”
On Monday, the day Paredes was recalled from Triple-A Durham, Tigers manager AJ Hinch joked about Paredes coming back and doing damage.
“That ex-team thing is real at this level,” said Hinch.
Paredes talked to the Detroit media on Tuesday. He said he was shocked that he was traded and didn’t see it coming.
“The truth is, I was not expecting it,” he said. “It took me by surprise.”
Still, he didn’t seem to be harboring any animosity for the Tigers. Mostly, he sees the trade as opening up a better opportunity for him to stay in the big leagues.
“No, I’m really grateful for the opportunity the Tigers gave me,” he said. “I was able to live my dream out. I just wanted to take advantage of the opportunity here.”
He made quite an impression on his new team Wednesday.
Lynn Henning contributed to this story.