By Steve LaMontia, Director of Communications
Brian Robert will be in his 13th year participating in the Detroit MSBL in 2020 and continues to play in the always tough 18-over division for the Mets. No, this 43 year old Ortonville, Michigan infielder didn’t start in the league when he was five years old, he is merely talented enough to go toe to toe with the youngsters and even makes an occasional appearance on the bump.
Michigan has been hit extremely hard by the COVID-19 virus, which of course has temporarily stopped baseball activity in the Detroit MSBL as it has all across the MSBL nation. We asked Brian to elaborate on how he is coping with the break in the action and how it has affected work, family and life.
What is your biggest takeaway from our current coronavirus outbreak? That the coronavirus outbreak “took away” our vacation. Kidding aside, this quarantine is testing people’s limits in ways that many would have never considered. I am currently under quarantine, as is my wife. However, I have been working from home since mid-March. As an automotive engineer in the commercial end of the business, it has changed the scope of work in ways that I never thought imaginable.
What are you doing to stay engaged with baseball? I have kept close contact with my key teammates via text. In addition to listening to old “classic” games while puttering around in the garage, I have a small batting practice area set up in the basement and have a pitching machine that throws mini-whiffle-balls. I have a bat that has a small barrel for an additional challenge.
Are you still able to workout regularly during this period? Yes, we have an area that is devoted to working out in the basement. I have pushed myself to workout daily during this quarantine period. Additionally, I have been riding my bicycles a lot.
What special activities are you and/or your family able to participate in?
Unfortunately, special activities have all been cancelled due to the quarantine order. I also play other sports, and as a result of the quarantine order these other sports have been “cancelled” or put on hold. For example, bicycle races have been postponed, running races have been cancelled, and this has greatly affected spring and summer plans. If the quarantine is “lifted” prior to the summer, there will be some races attended and (hopefully) some professional baseball games attended.
Will you be participating in any national fall tournaments this year? There was a ‘potential’ plan to play in Arizona at the MSBL World Series, but this plan is on hold until we know more in the months ahead.
Any further comments? The quarantine is a real drag. Though many have been affected by events being postponed and/or cancelled, the baseball season will be that much sweeter when the quarantine is lifted.