Heroes of Healthcare
Heroes of Healthcare

Episode · 8 months ago

Baseball Can Cure Your COVID Blues

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

It’s obviously important to think and talk about health — it’s why I run a show highlighting heroes in healthcare.

But sometimes, the best thing for your health is to stop thinking about it.

In a world beset by pandemic fears, sports can be one of the best distractions from the stress of worrying about health.

That’s why I invited my long-time friend, Jack Curry, Sportscaster at Yes Network, onto the show to discuss the uncertain state of sports since COVID hit — and what comes next.

What we talked about:

  • Jack’s incredible career journey from the New York Times until now
  • Why sports still matter in uncertain times
  • How COVID has complicated professional sports and what to expect in the future

Heroes of Healthcare is hosted by Ted Weyn.

To hear this interview and more like it, subscribe to Heroes of Healthcare on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

You Ere listening to heroes ofhealthcare, the podcast that highlights bold selfless professionals in thehealth care industry focused on transforming lives in their communities.Let's get into the show, welcome to the heroes of Healthcarepodcast on your host Ted Wayne. Before we kick off today's episode, I wantedto lean in and just talk to our listeners and let them know that thisepisode will be a little bit different. When I was looking at the ideas ofstarting a podcast, I was able to reach out to a friend, Osangrim verahe WHO's,a marketing expert and has a very successful podcast, and when we aretalking about guests and topics and themes, he encouraged me to stepoutside the norm to be creative and to elicit different ideas for ourlisteners that they might find compelling. So when I was thinkingabout some of the things surrounding healthcare and our society today andbeing a big sports fan, I thought that it would be interesting to potentiallyreach out to a friend of mine who has been following the New York Yankees formost of his career Jack. Curry is an Emmy Award, winning Sports Caster, whostarted his career following baseball and the New York Yankees with The NewYork Times for twenty two years, and then last ten years has been the sportscaster on the white es network, which is the Yankees broadcast system up inNew York as a sports, caster and key announcer jacks also had the privilegeof writing two best selling books, one around Dere jeeter's career and, morerecently, around David cones. I had the privilege of going to college with Jackand he's a good friend of mine. So when I was trying to discover whether thiscould be a good episode, it came clear to me that not only has baseball beeninterrupted by the pandemic and Covid, as we all have had seen, but also it'sbeen a big relief to people in terms of giving them some sense of normalcy intheir lives. I also thought Itoud be great to understand how baseball wasadapting to the pandemic and adjusting with all the protocols that they had.So I hope you'll indulge me as we venture into this next episode of thehere is a healthcare podcast and joine me in welcoming longtime friend of mine,Jack Curry, thanks for joining as Jack Teddy, it's great to be on your podcast.It's great to talk to you. I feel as if we're back at fordam university in themid S and we're sitting on Eddie's parade somewhere and we're just havinga conversation, and that speaks to the friendship that we've developed,because we can pick up from wherever we've talked last and it' says if we'rein our twenties again and wouldn't that be great to be in our twenties again. Ithink of that too often, I think you know I was thinking when we weregetting ready to do this. I was thinking how I was trying to think whenthe first time I I met you- and I think the connection was our friend JoeKreamer- was captain of the basketball team and you and Bob Papa who's. Also,a New York sports casteras been doing the New York giants for twenty plus T,almost probably thirty years play by play on the radio we're doing thebasketball games for WFV. First of all, you called Cramer the captain of thebasketball team. Although yeah that was a he was one of the managers, themanager e game. That's right, go into a twenty point: Af Game Score, a see itlike that you're right, Joe Cramer and Michael Zucarello and Thik one of myroommates and he wrote for the school newspaper with me. They were managerson the basketball team and Bob Papa, and I would broadcast the Games forWFUV and you're right. I met Joe and we became instant friends and then fromJoe. I met all the guys that he lived with, and that was you and ChrisLeonard and Matt Gormly and John Leva. So it was a a whole group and I'm verythankful to have formed all those...

...friendships and they've lasted allthese years later. Yeah Yeah, I know during the pandemic we all jumped on azoom call, so that was fun to see everybody back together. Again andyou're right after I don't even want to know how many years, but you knowthirty, plus years, it's great that that we all can jump back in together.So that's been awesome, so you know Jack. I always remember that coming outof college, we all jumping. You know where we were going to go where weegoing to go and help me recall: Did you land with the New York Times right outof college? My first job out of college was with The Star Ledger in New Jersey,which is the Marpets I jersey. So I ended up working there for about a year,and I learned a lot there. The thing about the job with the ledger is: itwas really locally focused. You were going to cover high school and collegesports and I had greater aspirations than I wanted to cover baseball. Iwanted to cover major league baseball. So even while I was at the ledger, Iwas still sending out resumes left and right trying to find another job, andfortunately the Times was interested. I had done enough writing and sent enoughclips to them that I was able to get a job at the times, and I was tell peoplethis sthough. I started at the Times at a very low level. I was hired as awriting clerk and the cork part came first, you did thirty five hours ofclerical work, answering phones, doing research, making copies getting coffeeand then anything beyond those thirty five hours. You could try and write.You could submit articles to editors and assignment editors and hope thatyou caught their interest and that's really how things started at the Times.But today my goal was once I got my foot in the door at the New York Times.I was not going to let them get rid of me. I was going to do enough that theywould say hey. We have to keep this guy and probably two and a half. Threeyears later, I became a reporter covered the nets first, some collegebasketball, some college football and probably about four years after Istarted there. I was took over the Yankees, which is where I wanted to be.I always wanted to cover major league baseball. That's my passion and growingup. You were a Yankee Fan. I won't hold that againt to because I'm from theother, I'm on other side of the New York baseball scene, but you've alwaysbeen a Yankee Fan, not exactly true. Okay. So when I grew up in Jersey Citywith my brothers a couple years older than me, the mets won the world seriesin sixty nine. My brother was seven years old, so he fell in love with themets. You just follow what your older brother does yeah. I started to likebaseball. Seventy seventy one I just followed suit with him, and I was justhaving this conversation with some some of my colleagues at I guess last nightthat I really was a Tom Sever Fan. I was a bud Harrelson Fan, but teddy,even at a young age I just appreciated and and loved baseball. Even if themets lost the game to the Cincinnati reds, I would watch pete rose or JoeMorgan and say Gosh if only the mets could have those guys. So I think froma young age, I recognize what what baseball greatness was and the otherthing about doing what I do even now at yes, I need to be objective and somepeople don't get that because yes, sones half on the Yankees one half ofthe s network, but I can't be I'm jumping ahead of you year, but I can'tbe watching a game and knowing I'm doing the post game and be rooting forthem to score run in the athinning. I have to watch the FFAD and was that aslider was that a cutter? What is the strategy here? So I put my reporter haton when I'm doing my job, not not really the fan hat that I had manyyears ago. Well, so I know I like even better knowing that you originally werea met band, because I wasn't sure about that. But no and I think- but I thinkthat speaks a lot to your success and your longevity in the business. Becauseof that objectivity. You know, I think, sometimes some of the sports gasters,who can filter that as well still do okay but take on a different personawithin the industry. Some people figure...

...out a way to do that, and I know thereare a lot of radio sports talk, radio host to tell you all their teams thatthey root for, and that's great, that's their passion. For me, the second majorleague game I ever covered Teddy. There were two met players because I wasdoing mets and Yankees when I first started out the Times was kind oftesting me out to see if I could handle this, I went up to a couple of playersafter a game, and I was so green and so naive and one of them had had threehits and I said, can I ask you a couple of questions and he said sure- and Isaid, did it feel good to get three hits which is a terrible question? First of all SA? Yes, no question right,Nick O, all no, it felt awful right. Al Thethe, other teammate jumped me andsaid: No, he felt awful. He really wishes that he went over for and struckout four times, and that happened probably in one thousand nine hundredand eighty nine, and I can remember everything about that, although I'm notmentioning the names of the two players, I go home that day and that was a slapin the face. That was a reminder that hey this is a job and you better takeyour job seriously and when you get in the clubhouse, you better have smart,cohesive questions to ask you better be able to defend those questions if aplayer gets angry at you, and I thank those players for kind of giving methat grief because I deserved it. I wasn't as well prepared for my job as Ishould have been that day, and it was just a reminder that hey you're here tocover the game and writ about the game or now broadcast about the game. You're,not here to be the guy giving fist pumps if the team scores the winningrun. Well, like always those hard lessons are always the best lessonsright Ay. We say we don't remember the easiest teacher we had at school. Itold that story not too long ago on another podcast with a collegejournalist- and I said exactly what you just said, and I did a book with DerekJeeter about twenty years ago, where one of the chapters was about howfailure leads to success. You're, absolutely right. We remember theassignments or the or the jobs that we didn't do as well as opposed to theones that that we ased yeah yeah. So as you look back on the t's, Wat stay withthe New York time screw when you look back what are some of the greatestmoments when you reflect back on that? What were the ones that you just youknow at Times said? I can't believe him here. There's a lot. I covered onethousand nine hundred and ninety six world series where the Yankees had inon a world series in almost twenty years- and I remember being in thepress box teddy and you've been to Yankee Stadium. So you know how whatthat fall park was like and the pressbox used to sort of hang over. Thestands a little bit and the fans got so excited during that game that the pressbox was shaking and people think we're making this stuff up. I'm not makingthis stuff up. I mean I actually wondered if this press box was going totumble over. So I remember that whole experience, because when I startedcovering the Yankees in ninety one they were awful. They were a poor team. GenMichael and buck show alter helpe turn that organization around then Jo Torytook over ninety six, it's jeeters rookie year. So I always remember thatninety six season, I have to mention my relationship with George SteinbrennerGeorge Steinbrunter. Is this mythic figure when you're just watching fromafar? But I had to develop a relationship with him, because if youdon't have George Steinberner or didn't have George Sinbraer, when you werecovering the Yankees, you were useless to your newspaper or your broadcaststation. So I ended up developing a relationship with him and talking tohim quite often and calling him- and I mean some of the stories I have withhim- ended up being legendary stories as well just things I never would havethought when I was still a kid at for them. Yeah. No, it's amazing. You knowso at o other questions. I always wondered at as a outsider. Looking inhow do you get those phone numbers like? How do you get Toword, stiing prenters?You know or play your cell phone number that I guess eventually they wint youin their trust and they give it to you...

...or the best way. Grigt is to get itfrom the person. So then, when the person picks up his or her phonethey've, given it to you, but quite often in this business right, you getit from a colleague you get it from another source. I won't give up who theguy is, but if he ever listens to this podcast he'll know, there's a friend,I've developed over the years who he deals with a lot of players for variousreasons, and this guy has so many phone numbers that I probably knocked on hisdoor a hundred times over the years, because I know that he has a connectionif he doesn't have it, somebody else will have it, but with George I think Ijust came right out and asked him and I think I said I want to give you faircoverage in the New York Times. This is your opportunity to do that. If I everwrite a story that you're unhappy with, I don't want you calling me after thefact and saying. Why did you do that when I asked you for your phone numberand you didn't give it to me, but I have to tell you this quick funny,steime burner phone story, so I grew up in Jersey, city for I was married. Iwas still living at home with mom and dad four rooms for very close quarters.At home. We had one phone, no cell phones, thisis one thousand ninehundred and ninet ninety one whatever it was, and George Steinberner wassupposed to call me on a specific day and he did and it was really the firsttime I had an extensive interview with him and he was talking and going andI'm taking notes, and I'm thinking this is fantastic. I have a great story here.I can't wait to call my editor. All of a sudden, you hear a click, you hearsomeone picking up another phone nd, it's a female voice and the voice says:Doesn't anyone know there's a dinner hour around here and then on click.Steinrunner says: Who was that? What was that who picked up the phone now hehad previously said to me: Don't ever lie to me and we'll have a goodrelationship. So I couldn't lie- and I said, George that was my mom and she'scalling me to come for dinner. I'm waiting for the George Explosion,but instead I've got. I got the Family Man George. He said she's, absolutelyright. Why are you talking to me if it's time for dinner, Gon have dinnerand I said Georgei I have a few more questions and he said no, no, no go go.Finish. Go have dinner with your mom and Dad, and I well finish thisconversation some other time. I was so angry at my mother, tidy buin hindsightwhat I figured out. I was probably twenty five or twenty six at that pointfor the next. However, many years I know in George Stein Berner's head, Iwas the Guy Living at home with his harents, whose mom wanted hem to comefor dinner. Yeah Ho made it real. That probably softened me up a little bitthat I wasn't some hard hitting guy. Who was going to ask him toughquestions, even though I did do that, I think he saw me as the the kid waitingfor dinner with mom and Dad. Well you it made you real to him right, yea, onehundred percent, so imediately became he came out of the business. So tell mes: How do you get asked or how did you end up doing the Derek Jeeder Book?That was when you were still at the Times. If I recall it was a jeeter hadhad about three or four years in the majors at that point, one thousand ninehundred and ninety nine and his agent asked me about doing that. I thinkbecause I had covered jeeter pretty much from day one from the Yankeesdrafting him right. I wrote about him while he was in the minor leagues. Iwent to Calamazoo Michigan once during the offseason and spent a day withDerek his mom is dad and his sister. They were doing some charitable worksthat day and you spend a whole day with somebody you're going to figure outwhether or not you can get along with that person, and I actually think thatday was was pivotal to me down the line to them. Saying Hey. Do you want to youwant to work on this book with Derek, because that book could have been done? I'm notsaying other other writers could have done that book, but I knew everythingabout Dera cheater at that point everything that I don't want to say. Iknew everything about it, but IHAD covered him to that point. So if derycheeter sat down with riter X, who wrote for people magazine and had nevercovered baseball, he was Goinno have to...

...start from zero right. If you neded toget to an hundred to finish a book with me, we were probably already at fiftyor sixty right. I think that was a comfort level for dereck as well amakes sense. So with the Times for, I think you said twenty two years andthen you make this transition to yes, how did that happen? It's interesting,Teddy Michael K. another forum guy who perceived us by about four years, is areally good friend of mine and he would always implore me to try and do TV, andI was very comfortable at the Times. I often thought that I could spend mywhole career at the Times. I started there when I was twenty two and I oftenthought hey a forty plus career at the New York Times forty year plus careerwould be something to be really proud of, and I wouldnt have had any anyregrets and the business started to change and I'll be quite honest in twothousand and nine. The Times was offering byouts and I started to reviewmy career and I looked at what I had done at the times and I didn't knowteddy that there was a lot left to accomplish there. I could have keptcovering baseball, kept covering world series right. Writing, columns, writingfeatures, but I was never going to leave sports, I'm not interested incovering the Olympics or covering football and going to the super bowl sothat combined with the buy out combined with- and I love newspapers and I'll,always support newspapers combined with the fact that I saw the printjournalism side of the business coing in a different direction. I got anagent and I asked him: Do you think I would be able to transition into TV?And he said, let me it was actually Michael Kay's, former agent Steve LeftCowitz who had since passed on. That's why I said former, so he told me Ithink I could get you four or five interviews and he was right. I left theTimes I took the buyout and I had four different interviews, probably within aweek or two and yes was the most interested and I was the mostinterested in them. So that's how that that connection ended up happening butseems like a logical bit and what helped me to teddy, as I had worked for.Yes, I guess on a freelance basis, they have an offseason baseball show. Soeven while I was at the Times, I was appearing on their air waves to talkbaseball, so the people that I work with today, Bob Lorens Jared Boshnack,I worke with those guys already when I was at the time. So I was excited abouttaking that leap to go from the Times to yes, because it wasn't a foreignleap. I knew a lot of the people. I was already working with sure sure. Solet's talk about sticking with artheme heros of healthcare and let's start toshift the little bit towards. I guess like what we're coming hard to believewe're, probably coming up on a year right January is when we all start evenDecember. Last year, in January we started hearing about this thing inChina that was kind of going around and, as I had mentioned in the Intro, youknow I wanted to talk with you, because I think it's obviously Hiti. Youpersonally like it said a lot of us personally and it's also there's alsobeen a lot of real benefits that we've heard about from baseball from a mentalaspect for people coming back. So if you don't mind just kind of sharingwith the listeners, you know, I guess it's like January and February timeframe and you're hearing about this thing and what are you hearing out ofMajor League Baseball? I was in spring training and Tampa when everything wasshut down, and I will never forget that day because, as you said, the drum beatstarted getting louder and the fear and the tension started to grow and afterthe NBA shut down, we actually had a meeting the next day at yes, a meetingpreparing for the season inside a ballroom in Tampa, and it was one ofthe most awkward meetings I've ever attended teddy, not that anyone didanything wrong, but we were all talking about planning for a season thand. Ithink we all knew this is not going to start on time. Something is going tohappen and baseball got shut down that...

...day and I remember being scared, Iremember being worried, like anybody would be my wife, Pamela was in Tampawith me at the time and our bosses said to us ar we encourage you to go home.What we think at this point, you should go home. I still have that reporter Genin me, and I have that that reporter antenna up, I stayed in Florida for acouple extra days, just in case the Yankees did anything. I didn't knowwhat might happen at that point. Actually, Florida was probably saferthan New Jersey, so for for anyone who's listening to this and saying whydidn't you go home, we spent a couple extra days in Florida and then it was.It was readily apparent that yeah it was time to go home and I didn't knowwhat baseball was going to do at that point, I will be honest with you. Iwandered in my head and had some conversations some collleagues. I saidwhat do you think th they'll take about a month, or so you think in six weeks,teyl be back up. We didn't know and probably should have been more educatedon the topic that Kno they weren't going to be able to just shut down andget rolling again in a month, and I think at that point tedy. It was just aton of question more access to how are they going to potentially get a seasonbackgoing, but but let's not forget the other part of it. How ar you going tokeep everybody healthy, wl? What's going on in our country? What is goingon here so that we can all try and get through this with without misery andunfortunately, there's been too much misery surrounding this right. Well,and S as important as baseball is to the people who are making careers outof it like yourself and the players and everything when you start to look at itthrough the Lens of what pandemic was ind the world and the deaths and thesuffering kind of going on around it. You kind of start to starts to realignyour priorities a little bit, you're absolutely right, and I would alwaystry and preface my discussions about baseball by sayingexactly what you just said. We ended up doing a lot of a lot of content for yesduring the the layoff during the period wher we're waiting for baseball to comeback and they called it. Yes, we rd here, so we wanted to remind ourviewers that we were still here and there'd, be various interviews and butwe always started off every show or every interview by kind of saying, Hey,listen! We understand that everybody's going through a lot right now we'rehere to give you some content to maybe take your mind off that, let's yeah,let's talk about what the Yankees will look like one scared coal actually getsto throw a pitch and the more I talk to people around Baseball Teddy is, as theweek started, to advance. I did believe they were going to play a season. Iended up having debates with with family members, my brother, being oneof them were people ere, saying, there's no way they're going to play, Iactually started to grow in confidence that they were going to be able to play.I just thought that they would figure out a way, I'm not excusing how direthe situation was to this day. There are some people who will argue out.Professional sports never should have come back right justagree. I think thatdone the right way with care that, as you said earlier, there, there is abenefit to being able to have something else to focus on, and I think baseballhelped provide that. I know personally speaking, my wife's parents are intheir s and I just know how excited they were to be able to watch baseballgames at night yeah. So have you guys done? Wo are looked at that I mean. Iknow that I have heard things about that and you know loved you to share alittle bit. I know you had the privilege of interviewing Dr Fauchi asMajor League Baseball is getting ready to come back. But what have you heardabout the mental aspects of it? Have you heard? I guess? Has It just beenwhat you just stated, the pro and conside of it, or what have you heardabout people saying this gives me some normal Sey to my life for me, and it'sprobably because I do talk to a lot of passionate baseball fans. For me, itwas more of the latter that people needed it. They were waiting for it andeven though it was a different version...

...of baseball and there weren't fans inthe stands, and we had to accept that. I think that people were looking forthat type of diversion and again you had to follow all the protocols and Ihad the the protocols that e the players got. It was more than a hundredpages and you're looking through that and you're realizing. How manydifferent, I don't want to say Hoop Shoul have to jump through, becausethat's not really what I mean. I mean rules that you have to follow: Yeahwhen Youre a mask socially distance as much as you can, when possible, washyour hands o all the basic things that we talked about and I'm glad youbrought up Dr Fouchy, because when I look back on two thousand and twentyand if you asked me or your highlights of two thousand and twenty and that'snot really a year where you want to reach for highlights, we all probalywant forget this year Sur. But I was very privileged to interview Dr Fauchi,because I thought that he was such a stabilizing force toring all this andwhen he spoke, I wanted them to continue talking, and I was fortunatewhen I spoke to him that we talked obviously about what was going on Teddy.But half the interview was also about baseball and the one thing that hatstruck me after I interviewed him is several people said to me: you got himto smile. I hadn't seen him smile well he's not going to smile when he's whenhe's giving a White House briefing and and it's very dire information rightdoom and Glasgow, you ask him about growing up as a Yankee Fan and hestarts talking about Yo Ibera he's going to smile and even Dr Fouchy. Atthat point, I'm getting to your question. He talked about the themental benefit of just having something else to focus on. I love that I lovethe title of Your podcast and I love what you're doing, because I thinksometimes we forget that there are still positive stories out there. Weforget that there are heroes. I don't know about you and Susan and yourfamily, but there are times I have to tell Pamela. I can't watch the newstonight and it's not a I work in the news business and I got to flick myhead in the sand approach. It's just. I need a break. I yeah, I can't do ittonight, so I do think the mental aspect of having whether it's baseballfootball, basketball hockey, I mean you know me, I'm a fanatical music fan forme. I can't tell you how many live streams. I've watched a band, you knowin a basement somewhere and it's different than whan. If you saw them ina an arena, fine, I'm on board. I want to hear it. I need to hear some music.I need that diversion. So one of the things I loved about the interview withDr Fouchi was your question to him about baseball and sports is all abouthigh fives and chest bumps, and you asked him what about that and once youshare what his response was. Dr Falchi was blunt Teddy. He did not want thatto happen. His basic message was: Don't do it and I know it's hard for players,and I know when you get Ahiad, you want to be able to celebrate it. You want tobe able to enjoy it with your teammates, but Dr Fauchi was telling the truth.There there's no need to do that and I don't think teamswere great at doingthat. Teddy there were some teams, so I thought incorporated some creativegestures. We all know a guy hits a homerun when he gets the third base. Heslaps the hand in the third base coach. I saw some teams where it would be likea fake slap or a little bit of a salute every game, you, you would see guyshigh fiving and handshakes and fit bumps, and that's not really theprotocol. You were supposed to follow and I get that it's very hard and I getthat it's difficult when you're exerting yourself to want to wear amask, but those were the protocols that would help you keep yourself and keepthose around you, the safest, yeah. Well, an we all know that dodgers cameunder some heat at the end of the world series for some of the players, notfollowing the protocols and so yeah.

That was that was so surreal, becauseMajor League baseball got to the finish line and it was a lot of work and therewase some hickcups and some pot holes along the way. Miami Marlans beingforemost among them had more than a dozen cases. I think it was close totwenty early in the year and you get to the end and then Justin curner has toleave the game because of a task, and then he comes on the field after thegame I mean just yeah, not smart, and I know we can put ourselves in his shoes andhe's generally known as a great guy and a great teammate. But one of thepictures teddy got a picture with the team he's near Dave Roberts, hismanager, who is a cancer survivor right with his mass down, not good behavior,just very questionable behavior. I get that you wanted to celebrate the worldseries title at that point, but you can't yeah Di. Do. There's a lot ofthings we cant do these days and we could get into a whole conversation ofthe mask, no mask and should I anddonni but will save that for another time,wer it yeah just wear it exactly. But let'salso talk about. I know, Covid has hit you and your family personally, youknow- and I remember unfortunately having to find out that you had beeninfected through a instagram post, but nonetheless you fall and pray andthankfully thank God, you're all good and recovered and everything. But what,if you don't mind, sharing hows that hit you guys personally? Well? First ofall, I want to say and reitorate when you just said, I'm very thankful thatthe four people in my family myself included that. Actually, I should sayseven because my wife's sister and our brotherinlaw and our nephew also had itbut we're all fine and I'm very thankful and I'm very grateful becausethere are some families whose story did not have that ending and I pray forthem and I console them and what has been a dreadful year. But for US TeddyPamela Pamela- and I this is sort of a message about this entire situation- mywife Workd for the company that makes liesalt for twenty seven years. So sheknows a lot about infectious diseases, and I tell you that we were as carefulas careful could be. What happened is her? Eighty seven year old, motherinlaw went to a doctor's appointment and had a mask and a shield on, andthey asked her to remove the shield for a certain exam that she was getting andshe wasn't comfortable doing that. But they said it would make the exam easierto do, and we have pinnpointed that that's where she ended up getting itbecause two or three days later is when she started the field symptoms. Shepassed it on to her husband, Pamel's, Dad and to Pamela, and then Pamelapassed it on to me and the timing was so bizarre and strange because I camehome from the final regular season game of the Yankees. Knowing that I'd becovering the playoffs in a couple of days and that's when Pamela told me,she had gone for a Covid test that day, she wanted me to come home from work.She didn't want to bother me with it. While I was doing he post game show andwe found out a day or two later that she tested bell once she went. I had acall s and say: Well, my wife went for a test, I'm going to have to go to, andI knew I was going to be out. I know I wouldn't be able to cover the playoffsbut again you're worried about your health. At that point, I don't want tojust have my recorder workhat on and Teddy it was scary yeah, I'm not goingto lie to you. First of all, you her parents are in their S. my wife has anunderlying condition. She has something called RSD, maneurological condition.That is a very painful condition and you get very, very worried now that theending is happy for us. As I said, we were all able to conquer it, but Pamelahad nine weeks where she was down and she had some really serious and bizarresymptoms fatigue was overwhelming. She had dizziness to the point where wethought she had vertigo. If she had a pen in her hand and dropped it and wentdown to pick up the pen, it was almost...

...a she would tumble over. So it's just areminder, you could take all of the safety precautions and be as careful aspossible. I mean I think I went out three times from March to about October,when it wasn't, work related, never went to a supermarket and went to oneoutdoor dinner and we still ended up getting it, but again, very thankfulthat Everybodyis, okay, today yeah you know so again with the theme of kind ofthe heroes and that's what we've been talking about on this podcastis. Thosepeople who are so unsung and I've been continuing to repeat this. The thingthat strikes me all the time is that superheroes are people of superhumanpowers is faster than a speeding bullet and all of those sorts of things, andthese people who are working in these medical facilities don't have thosesuperhuman powers to protect them, but yet they're there and they're puttingtheir life on the line to save other people. I mean it's just a call yeah. Ihave a few people who were that short of hero for us, Dr Chris, a mad is theYankees team physician and I know Dr Amaudwell and I've actually gone to himbecause I have bad knees from running. So I go to him for these GEL injectionsand it allows me to run keep Herunin get out on the road, but Dr Omaud heardabout Pamela and I and in the middle of the playoffhe's out covering the theplayoffs with the Yankees. He called US and spoke to us for about an hour andanswered a lot of our questions, but then teddy. He also put me in touchwith another Yankee doctor who I actually had never met with. Our pathshad never crossed Dr Paul Lee and he's a Yankee internist, who was actuallyvery instrumental and New York cities fight against covid. He is not ourdoctor. I had never met him. He did a zoom call with Pamela and I for an hourand fifteen minutes. He answered every one of our questions and it was themost reassuring call that I've ever had with a doctor, because we were scared.We didn't know what to expect. This was early in the process sure and he laidout a plan for us and told us what we should be doing, what we should expect.He followd that up with text messages so both Dr Omaud and Dr Lee. I amforever thankful to them and I coand tell why they are the special doctorsthat they are because of how they help treat us during this time. Yeah Yeah.No, the stories have been amazing in terms of that way, and I know just fromour kind of precall stuff that you've had lots of people. You know touchedwith this, both from passing on or surviving. I love the story about. MrIs Abid alone who's, the ninetyyer eight year old Gabe gave vite aloneteddy, and how about this? It was a FE's, a Fordam Grad. So you have tolove that I love thet. He was supposed to sing the national anthem at YankeeStadium in April. If you look at this gentleman's resume and all that he hadaccomplished in his life war, veteran college, professor and coach- has wonover a hundred metals competing in senior events, races and things likethat. Well, he decided that one thing lacking from his resume was singing thenational anthem, an Ankee Stadium, so as a ninety, seven or ninety eight yearold, that was his. That was his dream and he tried out one day at YankeeStadium. They said yes and he was supposed to do it in April. Obviouslythe game got canceled, so we are postponed. We interviewed him for yesand he was kind enough to do a version of it on the s network, so we actuallyhad his version of the national anthem before he did it at a Yankee game andthen later in the season, once baceball came back, Gabe ended up doing itvirtually so, though it wasn't as Scool as doing it at Yankee Stadium Right. Iknow I was still thrilled to get the opportunity to do it yeah. Well, it wasa perfect two thousand and twenty story...

...right where the bucket list got checked,but it was a little bit different than what he probably expect for at addingto the Wo Thousand and twenty story is here's a man in his s who is in afacility with his wife? They live in a facility. I mean to try and get theinterview and zoom with him. He had never zoomed before right had one ofhis his son in law and his son trying to help and and they move to heaven andearth- To try and make sure that Gabe could do this interview with him, whichI'm I'm deeply appreciative of. So that we could get his story out there and Istill email with him and keep in touch with him, and that was a pretty prettycool story to come out of two thousand and twenty getting the chance to meetGabe yeah. I know that's awesome so as we're getting to the end of our timeand we're going to wrap things up here. Why don't you share with the listenersa little bit? I know the seasons early, you know pitches and catches don'trecord until technically until February. I think you mentioned that some of thelot of this is still being discussed. But what are you hearing about thepotential thousand? An twenty one season? Anything O talk around vaccinesfor players ahead of time. Any of that sort of things that you can share, Ithink Teddy, is we look ahead to two thousand and twenty one? There areschedules in place. There is a reporting date for all the teams. Thereare spring training game schedule, there's a one hundred and sixty twogame schedule. That's already been sent to every team. I think the questionwhen I talke to baseball people is: will those schedules have to be changed?We don't know what wo Thosand and twenty one is going to bring. Yet Ithink the vaccines are an interesting wrinkle and all of this, what willteams protocol be about that? I know, personally speaking, if I had theopportunity, I would absolutely get the vaccine, but not everyone might sharethat view. There might be some folks who, who don't want that? Will playersrequire it? Can you require it? I don't know that you can do that. So I thinkwe have some unanswered questions hovering over the WO thusand and twentyone season. I know we've done some offseason baseball shows at yes, wherebuck show autther works for us now he's a former Yankee manager. Three timemanager of the year he's believes that there's no way they'll play a hundredand sixty two games. He thinks that you'you're going to have to have ashorter season and if you look at the season- and you do start a little bitlater well, the longer you wait teddy, the the closer you probably are to themore vaccines proing of Nalvil and the clos. You probably are to fans havingthe opportunity to be at Games which the owners obviously want, because theywent through all of two thousand and twenty with with no revenue from fansbeing in Games. Well, the players side of it, because everything is acollective bargain agreement. They want to play a hundred and sixty two gamesbecause they want to be paid for a hundred and sixty two games. Sure elost sixty five percent of their salary last year, their revenue, so I thinkwe're kind of headed in a direction where we just have to see what ends upbeing best for the sport best for the players. I do look toward two thousandand twenty one, though, with a lot of hope and a lot of optimism, because ifyou were able to get through two thousand and twenty with this Truncated sixty game season that was different than anything wehave everseen before. I think, whatever version we get of baseball in two thousand andtwenty one is going to be much better and I am hopeful that fans will be inthe stadium at some point. I can't predict: WILL THAT BE June July August?I don't know, none of us do, but I'm sure I think that will bring back animportant part of baseball for a lot of fans because, as we talkd about justthe mental aspect of it and being able to go to a game feeling safe about it,cheering on your team there's a lot of value in that yeah. Well, I just hopethat the Olmighty dollar doesn't doesn't make. You know make us makedecisions that are not in the best interest because, like you said, youcan probably recover from a couple of bad financial years. Hopefully, but youcan't rea, if you don't recover from the from the virus, then that changeseverything yeah and I think that's a theme that that everyone would echo. Ithink you have to believe that way and...

I think, along the path that MajorLeague baseball has taken you, the health of your players and your staffand everyone around your team should be of utmost importance. That should beyour number one priority and, like you, I hope that we continue to see and hearthat that is the focus, because we all know that two thousand and twenty issomething that that will never forget in our lifetimes and that we hope wenever have anything close to this ever again, yeah absolutely for sure, so weusually close each of these episodes. Jack with, since we are the heroes ofhealthcare, we always try to close with ask each of our guests, who is, or wasyour hero now we're growing up. That's an easy question for me to answer teddymy hero absolutely was my mom and my mom passed away N, one thousand ninehundred and ninety four, and I actually was at her cemetery recently fror mymom and dad and said a few prayers. While I was there- and I always thankboth of them- and it's not that my father was 'n my hero, but my mom wasmore of my hero and I always tell people who haven't met my mother. Ifyou like anything about me, if there's one small thing that you like about me,it's because of my mom, I know I have my mother's work ethic. I know I havemy mother's compassion. I know I have my mother's empathy for people and justheard her giving side, and I've always tried to to try and give as much as Ican to people. I have a platform as a sports journalist to be able to covergames and and write about them or talk about them. But I've always been moreinterested in the people that I've met along the way and the people you canhave an impact on whether it's someone you met, who you wrote an article aboutor someone you've, maybe tried to help from a journalistic side of things:mentoring them all. That comes from my mom and I love of baseball. I mean mybrother was really the first one to introduce me to baseball, but my motherreally ignited that flame. We would take two buses and a train to go toShase Stadium Watch, a double header, and I remember those days finaly. So ofall the questions you asked me on this podcast. That was the easiest one forme to answer. My mom was and always will be my hero. Well, that's awesome,and- and you know I see that obviously in you and I'd probably be remiss andif I didn't kind of tell this story, so you Jack Your ability to touch peopleand kind of leave them with that lasting impression, and it may seemlike a small thing or kind of a funny story. But to me, and in my wifes shousa on our girls, you know Jack has a special place in our house. I rememberthe Yankees were playing the braves in an inner. I was one of the firstprobably innerleague Bell Games that started again, so you had theopportunity come visit us in Atlanta and there's not a lot of things. I'vegot good recollection about, so you can tell why this touched me and our family.So we said let's Meet for dinner and you said okay, I think we, if Iremember Iwe, met the hardrock cafe in downtown Atlanta, not far from thestadium, and I brought M my two daughters with me who, at the time Ithink they were about maybe six and twelve or ten and four and we haddinner, and you were very gracious to pay for it, which I remember and theydidn't really eat much being young girls and you offered them dessert andI being the Dad said, no dessert for them. They didn't even eat their mealand you retorted back. Why didt you share with them what the retort waswell, I said that theyr entree or their dinner shelf was full, but their desertshelf was empty, so we needed to fill up. The dessert shelf that was wideopen and day to this day have never forgotten that and probably to mine andSusan's dismay. Certain nights reminded us of that when they wanted, desert andand dinner was over, but you know...

...you're interested in them and my olderdaughter who's now living in New York and pursuing acting career, and youknow you're back and forth with her and you you embody those characteristicsthat you love in your mom and I see it in you every day and I'm thankful thatI can call you a friend, but I appreciate that, and I appreciate yousaying that because, as I said, anybody who makes that connection to my momthat that's heartfeld, and that means a lot to me- and I say the same to youlikewise- that I can call you a friend- and I remember I'll, say this- Iremember sleeping over your house one time too in Alfaretta I stayed. I staywith you guys, one night I think it was imprompto. I don't think I was going tostay and then I decided to say- and I remember susand just giving me- Ididn't- have anything all of a sudden. I had a toothbrush, so I think I had apair of your sweats. I had a TSHIRT and I was say hey this is this is betterthan the Hilton or the hiat or whatever Rit'ch Carlton. The waines know how todo it and I do keep in touch with Melissa. We have a. We have a music anda connection, and we talk about that and I love when Beca your daughter whohelpd you out with this podcast. She dropped the dessert shelf reference onme and one of the email exchanges, so that made me Chocolale, and I realizedthat that story has resevated for years. Yep It'llit'll be a be a wane traditionforever that Jack delivered for us. So listen. I appreciate your friendship. Iappreciate your time thanks for sharing this a little bit outside of the box ofheroes of health care, but nonetheless relevant in terms of everything thatwe're dealing with. So all the best to you and to Pamela continue your speedyrecovery of her family and thanks again for your time thanks so much stady,good luck with the rest of the podcast. This is a great idea. You've been listening to heroes ofhealthcare for more subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player,or visit us at heroes of healthcare. Podcastcom.

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