Chicago Cubs pitching coach Tommy Hottovy became one of the first members of the team to publicly acknowledge he tested positive for the coronavirus. The coach appeared on Chicagoland radio station The Score on Wednesday morning and talked briefly about testing positive for COVID-19, according to Chicago Sun-Times reporter Gordon Wittenmeyer who posted Hottovy’s comments on Twitter. The pitching coach didn’t appear to have a mild case, as most in and around sports have said they had. He reportedly said he got “crushed” by the virus, and it took him about 30 days before it was entirely out of his system.
Wittenmeyer went on to post that Hottovy said he had a fever of over 100 degrees for several days in a row and finally, on day 12, he went to the hospital. The coach described going to the hospital and seeing the breadth and depth of what was happening as eye-opening to him. Hottovy added he wanted to be able to educate his players on the effects of the disease so he continued to have Zoom meetings with them while he was recovering.
By having these video conferences with the pitchers on the Cubs, Hottovy was able to show just how much of an effect COVID-19 had on his body.
Having now fully recovered, Hottovy said it crossed his mind to opt out of the season, but in the end, he felt his experience could help the Cubs. He added that his family did not contract the virus.
“I need to be there for them. Not only that I want to be there for the families, too,” he added.
When the Cubs coach was asked how he thinks he got the disease, he said he couldn’t be sure. He claimed he was “masked up” whenever he went to the store. He also said that everyone he came into close contact with all tested negative. He called the fact that he was able to get it but never able to pinpoint how is one of the scary things about the virus.
Forty-five days out from the initial diagnosis, Hottovy made it clear he’s still not entirely healed up. He said he lost 18 pounds in the month that he had it and still hasn’t been able to get back the lung capacity and cardiovascular fitness he had before.
When asked whether his experience scared any of the Cubs players, he thought it did at first. He added he thinks being able to answer all their questions was important, and he wants to be around to do more of that.
The entire Cubs team is expected to report to an abbreviated spring training on Wednesday in order to prepare for the start of the regular season on July 23.