‘I got crushed’: Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy details harrowing COVID-19 battle

Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy is 38 years old, not much older than many of the arms he will be overseeing as Major League Baseball attempts to play a 60-game season through the teeth of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Young and healthy, Hottovy is far from the at-risk individual some teams, including the Minnesota Twins, may try to shield from exposure to the virus.

But as players and staff report to home ballparks in advance of first workouts that begin Friday, Hottovy feels fortunate to be among them. In a radio interview Wednesday, Hottovy revealed he was hospitalized last month with COVID-19, lost 18 pounds while battling the virus and suffered through six consecutive days of temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.

"I got crushed," he told 670-AM The Score in Chicago.

Beyond the simple life-and-death implications of COVID-19, Hottovy's case illustrates the seemingly limitless outcomes the virus can produce - and that while many cases are minor, some are far more threatening to an athlete's livelihood.

Baseballs on the field prior to a game between the Boston Red Sox and Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park.

"It is important to understand that I'm 38 years old," says Hottovy, who pitched in the major leagues with Boston and Kansas City in 2011 and 2012. "I've been poked, prodded, tested for the last 16 years in Major League Baseball. I've had no underlying issues, nothing that would red flag me as somebody that would get hit pretty hard with this virus.

"But I did. My journey through this virus was not like ones you hear of younger people who are asymptomatic or only have it for a few days. I did have to go the hospital for a little bit of time to get checked and do all the breathing treatments."

In anticipation of positive COVID-19 tests, MLB has established an injured list specifically for players who test positive, and it has no minimum or maximum stay. Teams may also summon replacements from a 60-player pool, with an eye toward not just the usual injuries in a regular season, but also the possibly of coronavirus outbreaks within major league rosters.

But Hottovy's tale illustrates that some cases may not be resolved by a simple 14-day quarantine.

He said that "days eight through 14" he suffered significant respiratory issues and contracted what doctors called "COVID pneumonia."

Additionally, he said, he felt depressed and guilty for exposing his family to the virus, though his wife and children tested negative.

Hottovy pondered opting out of the season but says he will report with the club, even if he's far from prime physical conditoin.

“The lung capacity, the shortness of breath, the cardiovascular, I’m nowhere near (normal)," he said.

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/cubs/2020/07/01/cubs-pitching-coach-tommy-hottovy-covid-19-battle/5355199002/

News Related


Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »