The problem with getting players going isn’t just that you put them at risk for COVID-19. The bigger risk at the moment seems to be for players with pre-existing conditions that could see the worst side of the symptoms associated with the Coronavirus. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts is one of those guys with a weakened immune system that faces that risk.
Roberts spoke with The LA Times’ Mike DiGiovanna about his health risks as well as a few of his players. Kenley Jansen had a heart condition that required surgery and kept him out of baseball for a while. Scott Alexander is a type I diabetic who also faces additional risk, he also spoke with DiGiovanna.
From what I’ve been told by our doctors, as long as I keep my glucose numbers in good range and keep myself healthy, then I’m not really at any higher risk…I’m continuing to stay in contact with our medical staff and to stay on top of it. If the doctors were to tell me at some point that I was definitively at a high risk and it could be fatal if I were to contract the coronavirus because I have Type 1 diabetes, then I would have to seriously consider not playing. -Scott Alexander
Understandably so, as playing baseball is probably not worth risking your life if it’s not absolutely necessary. From what it sounds like though, Alexander should be fine as long as he stays on top of his glucose numbers, nothing to worry about for the Dodgers’ reliever.
Dave Roberts was diagnosed in 2010 with Hodgkins Lymphoma, cancer that develops within the body’s immune system. He faces the additional risk of having a weakened immune system, less capable of fighting off illness than the athletes around him. The Dodgers’ skipper feels confident in the team doctor’s advice for playing.
I asked [the doctor] if I were to go back, does that put me in any different [risk] category, and he said absolutely not,” Roberts said. “He didn’t really give me any details, and I didn’t really ask. -Dave Roberts
If Doc isn’t worried, then I’m not either. Roberts also went on to say that the Dodgers’ closer Kenley Jansen is also not at any higher risk than anyone else on the team, music to all of our ears.