Former MLB player and manager Art Howe is currently in the intensive care unit in a Houston-area hospital as he battles COVID-19.
Howe, 73, told Tulsi Kamath of Click 2 Houston that he was rushed to a hospital in an ambulance Tuesday, more than a week after he first began to exhibit symptoms of the novel Coronavirus. Howe described the symptoms in the piece, and in the scariest part suggested that he had chills so badly at one point that his whole body shook "like a leaf."
Howe did say in the piece that he's starting to improve, but expressed frustration with the pace, saying that he's still dealing with a fever and a loss of taste.
If you've watched baseball at any point in the last 45 years, you know Howe. He played for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Houston Astros and St. Louis Cardinals in an 11-year MLB career that lasted from 1974-1985. He's since managed the Astros, Oakland Athletics and New York Mets, with his most recent managerial stint coming in Queens during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. Howe last appeared in a major-league dugout in 2008, the second and final year that he served as Ron Washington's bench coach for the Texas Rangers.
If you're a movie buff, you know Art Howe, even if you don't immediately recognize his name. Howe was portrayed by the late Philip Seymour Hoffman in the 2011 film "Moneyball," that examined how the Oakland Athletics changed baseball with their use of sabermetrics in the early 2000s. Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt were also in the film, which drew critical acclaim.
In a sport where there are a handful of managers over 60 years of age - and quite a few other employees needed to make a baseball game function - this is a reminder that if the sport returns in 2020, it won't simply be the players who are at risk. Older club employees that are statistically more susceptible to the virus will be risking their health as well. That doesn't mean MLB shouldn't or won't have a season, but it's just another moving part in a lengthy list of issues that baseball has to figure out to be able to start and complete a 2020 season.