‘Sports help countries heal’: Pirates manager Derek Shelton eager to get season underway

From inside his Florida home, new Pittsburgh Pirates manager Derek Shelton said he is staying upbeat during the COVID-19 pandemic that caused the MLB season to be delayed.

“I think we have to adapt and adjust and have to make sure that organizationally – and even personally – that we stay positive. Because we are going to get back to baseball at some point, back to the game we love,” said Shelton.

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Above all else, Shelton told Channel 11’s Alby Oxenreiter he’s enjoying this quality time with his family.

“We’re all good. We’re healthy, we’re safe,” he said.

Shelton is thankful to be with his wife and three children but acknowledges that it’s “strange” being home. This is the first time in more than 25 years that Shelton hasn’t been on or near a baseball diamond in April.

But while he’s not managing the Pirates, he’s managing everyday life, including homeschooling.

“The 19 and 16-year-old are pretty much self-sufficient, and the 10-year-old is making me realize how much more appreciation I have for teachers,” Shelton said.

Shelton also appreciates the small, positive things that can come from a worldwide crisis – such as sitting down for dinner every night.

He told Channel 11 he won’t speculate on when and how baseball might return, but he knows there’s a possibility it would be without fans.

“It will be difficult without fans, but if that’s the way we’re going to do it, and people would be able to watch (on television), then I think we have to look at all ideas,” Shelton said.

Making sure there’s a safe environment is most important, but Shelton feels his sport – and all sports – can help society return to normalcy.

“The one thing we need to get back to is sports, because sports help countries heal,” he said.

Watch the full interview in the video above!