Less than one month after opting out, Braves outfielder Nick Markakis has reversed course, and will play the 2020 season with Atlanta.
Though multiple players on the team have tested positive for COVID-19, including a scary bout with the virus from star slugger Freddie Freeman, for Markakis, his concern with coronavirus was surpassed by his fear of missing out.
“I missed you guys,” said Markakis during a Wednesday press conference explaining his reasoning.
“Sitting at home, watching these guys compete the last couple of days — and all the risks that they’re taking going out there,” is what Markakis said inspired his change of heart. “In a way deep down in that pit in my stomach, I felt like I needed to be out there.”
The longtime big-leaguer cited a conversation with Freeman as the main reason for what he now calls a “rash decision.”
”And I think the biggest thing is, I talked to Freddie Freeman the other day. And just hearing him, the way he sounded on the phone, kind of opened my eyes. Freddie didn’t sound good,” said Markakis at the time.
Freeman told reporters that his coronavirus symptoms — which included a 104-degree fever — were so severe, he prayed that God would spare his life. Freeman has since returned and played in all five of the Braves’ games so far.
But, after consulting with manager Brian Snitker, GM Alex Anthopolous and his teammates, Markakis said he was grateful to be welcomed back.
Since the start of the season last week, four teams have had games canceled or postponed due to an outbreak with the Marlins, who have had 15 players and two coaches test positive.
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