ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (FOX) – This week was supposed to include Major League Baseball opening day. The coronavirus outbreak took care of that as players remain home and wait it out like the rest of the world.
Minnesota Twins catcher Mitch Garver is settling into family time and home workouts.
“It feels weird not being at spring training right now. Unfortunately, everything is cut short and there is a lot more serious things going on than baseball right now so I’m back home in Albuquerque for the time being. We’re kinda just hanging out, seeing what the league is going to bring, seeing what the government is going to do about this.”
The former Lobo and La Cueva high star had his best season in big league ball last year and has been eager to get back. Garver’s breakout season included 31 home runs and 67 RBI while playing in only 93 games, but the serious reality of a global pandemic has him more focused on everyday life.
“It’s definitely put things into perspective with the sickness that’s going on,” said Garver. “It’s getting pretty serious and I don’t think people realize how serious this can be. It really makes you appreciate your health. It really makes you appreciate your family. Hopefully, you have a roof over your head and you have some food and some supplies to live off for a while. You know, this whole time being at home and kind of staying inside with the family has been fun. I mean you make the situation, what you want it to be. So, given the situation, we are making lemonade out of lemons right now.”
In order to keep his skills sharp and stay in shape, Garver has been doing home workouts. “We’re kind of back into a preseason mode,” said Garver.
“You know, I’m hitting and throwing every day. I’m trying to get my workouts in with limited equipment obviously. All of the facilities are closed. We’re just trying to stay in shape. I think that everyone across the league realizes that at some point baseball will return and other sports will return and it’s just a matter of staying in shape, making sure your arm is healthy, your body is in good shape, you’re taking care and eating as healthy as you can and really just staying ready for when that call comes because it will come at some point and baseball will be played this year,” Garver said.
On the court, New Mexico State men’s basketball coach Chris Jans is the National Basketball Coaches Association Coach of the Year for District six again. Jans led his Aggies to a third consecutive WAC regular-season title this year and ended the season with his team riding a 19 game win streak.
University of New Mexico junior Weini Kelati is the Mountain West Indoor Track & Field Female Athlete of the Year. Kelati was selected by league coaches. Kelati was the Athlete of the Week three times this season.
In her indoor career, Kelati owns the school record in the mile, the 3,000-meter and the 5,000-meter and has the top-three recorded times in the mile, the top-two times in the 3000-meter in program history and two of the top-three results recorded in UNM history in the 5000-meter.
Meanwhile, Cleveland high state champion running back Dorian Lewis is taking his talents to Coffeyville Community College in Kansas. Lewis thought he would use a season of track and field to get ready for his next stop, but that will not happen after the coronavirus outbreak canceled spring sports for New Mexico high school students.