Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire can certainly be excused for taking extra precautions amidst the COVID-19 pandemic that’s turned the world upside down.
The 62 year old skipper is among the highest risk group of people for contracting the illness. He’s already had to deal with prostate cancer, and he’s feeling the effects of the weight that the pandemic can bear on one’s mind.
“Other than just tired,” he said. “I’m a little worn out.”
“Traveling wears you down and the thought of this COVID stuff – that’s on my mind a lot. Other than that, I’m good to go.”
In a show of good sportsmanship, Gardenhire reached out to Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona, who is recovering from a gastrointestinal procedure and is also in the high-risk group for contracting coronavirus.
“I texted him and told him I was thinking about him,” Gardenhire said. “He said it’s been tough, a tough road. Hopefully he will get through this thing. It’s tough for everybody and especially tough for him. He’s had some health issues.”
“It’s very difficult,” he said. “I love these guys here. You rely on them and my coaches, all of them, to do the right thing. You’re traveling around with this COVID thing all over the place, you see what’s happened to other teams – it’s definitely a different year.
“It’s a hard year and we’re just trying to get through it. I think that’s about as good as I can put it. It’s not easy.”
Gardenhire certainly got a boost Sunday, as his Tigers took two of three from the Indians for the first time since 2018. Additionally, he also received a message of support from Hall of Famer Jack Morris during a pre-game Zoom call earlier in the day:
“For what it’s worth, I’m pulling for you, kid,” Morris said. “You just keep smiling. I’m pulling for you. It’s a crazy world. Hang in there.”
– – Quotes via Chris McKoskey of The Detroit News Link – –