TAMPA, Fla. - Major League Baseball’s season is on hold due to the coronavirus, so the Tampa Bay Rays have sent their players and coaches home to be with their families.
Right now, the team is splintered all over the country. Kevin Kiermaier has decided to stay in Port Charlotte for a few more days with his wife Merissa and son Karter.
Suffering cabin fever without baseball, Kiermaier spent 30 minutes on a video conference call with our Kevin O’Donnell to discuss how he’s handling the shutdown and what he’s doing to stay ready for a return to baseball.
“It’s kind of your own program right now, I guess you would say,” said the Rays’ Gold Glove centerfielder. “The team put it out there that they want us to do whatever we feel as necessary to keep our families safe first and foremost. Wherever that may be for each and individual is where everyone kind of went.”
“So I guess you really do have to get creative to find ways to stay in shape because all of the gyms and training facilities have been closed,” Kevin O’Donnell asked.
“I’m doing in-home workouts, working out on the pier, going shooting hoops at the park down the street, little things like that,” said Kiermaier. “My neighbors probably think I’m crazy doing all these band works, trying to keep my arm in shape. Doing box jumps on a concrete block out by the boat lift. It’s wild, but you have to improvise with what you have.”
“You’re a husband, a father, a baseball player,” Kevin O’Donnell continued. “Are you nervous, anxious, scared about the situation we are going through right now?”
“I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much consecutive time around my wife Merissa and my son Karter in these times,” Kiermaier replied. “That’s a beautiful thing. “But once again I’d rather be playing baseball and having that life at home, about 50/50, split between the both. Right now is 100% at home and zero percent at the field, so we are going to try and change that as soon as possible. You have to try to find things to pass the time and that’s the key to it all.”