SEE UPDATE/CORRECTION AFTER JUMP …
Yeah, this one has me speechless today. ABCActionNews.com is reporting this afternoon that doctors this week diagnosed Rays outfielder Rocco Baldelli with “Mitochondrial Myopathy, a very rare genetic illness. It’s one of the 43 neuromuscular diseases recognized under MDA - the Muscular Dystrophy Association.”*
Dr. Allan Weiss is the presiding neurologist: “I’m optimistic. I don’t think this is his last year of baseball. I think he can play a number of years after this.”
That said, there is no cure for the condition, which primarily weakens the legs.
Baldelli: “Now that I know what it feels like to struggle with something like this, you kind of understand that people need support and they need help. I’m sure once I sit down this off season and start to deal with MDA more, I’ll probably understand a lot more.”
We’ve all followed Baldelli’s injury plight, and this confirms his courage in dealing with his now-confirmed illness. The Rays story this season is a great one. But Baldelli’s triumph over Muscular Dystrophy is much more compelling, at least in this corner.
Thanks to Jason’s idea/comment, I think we may have solved the Rays’ celebratory first-pitch dilemma for the playoffs.
*UPDATE: The ST. PETERSBURG TIMES reports that Baldelli doesn’t technically have Muscular Dystrophy, and Wendy Ryan’s report on WFTS was dead wrong.
A so-called “exclusive” report by WFTS- Ch. 28 that OF Rocco Baldelli has muscular dystrophy is “erroneous,” according to Dr. Allan Weiss, who has been treating Baldelli.
“The report is erroneous,” Weiss said in comments relayed through the team. “It is incorrect terminology. He has mitochondrial myopathy, not muscular dystrophy.”
Asked directly before Friday’s game if he had muscular dystrophy, Baldelli said, “No.” And of the report, he said, “That’s awful.”
Thanks Wend! dumbass