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Friday, September 26, 2008

Rays Rocco Baldelli diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy

Rocco’s muscles were constantly fatigued and his endurance continued to weaken. Just this week, doctors diagnosed him with Mitochondrial Myopathy, a very rare genetic illness. It’s one of the 43 neuromuscular diseases recognized under MDA - the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

...Dr. Weiss feels up-beat about Rocco’s future.

“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.”

And like any MDA disease, Rocco understands there is no cure and he will face this chronic illness for the rest of his life.

“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,” Rocco said.

Thanks to DiBrango.

Repoz Posted: September 26, 2008 at 08:42 PM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: rays

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   1. Esoteric Posted: September 26, 2008 at 08:52 PM (#2957311)
Jesus. Rocco just cannot catch a break.
   2. rr Posted: September 26, 2008 at 08:53 PM (#2957312)
How about they have Baldelli throw out the first pitch at a playoff game?
   3. RJ in TO Posted: September 26, 2008 at 08:54 PM (#2957313)
I'm sure it's not much in the way of consolation, but at least they've finally figured out what it is that's been causing him so much trouble.
   4. and Posted: September 26, 2008 at 08:59 PM (#2957316)
I'm with robinred. And I know who I'm pulling for in the playoffs now.
   5. Gamingboy Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:01 PM (#2957319)
So wait, not only does he have that Mitochondrial disorder that was written about a few weeks ago, he also has Muscular Dystrophy? Oh my god. That is horrible.
   6. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:01 PM (#2957320)
I thought we already knew this.

Mitochondrial myopathy is sort of a vague category of diseases in itself. Just look at all the possible complications. And it isn't really a form of muscular dystrophy, they just are both covered by the Muscular Dystrophy Association's charity and medical efforts. And MDA isn't a disease, it's the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which supports all kinds of congenital neurological and muscular diseases.
   7. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:04 PM (#2957324)
Wow. I'll be rooting for the Rays even more now.

I had a neighbor growing up who had MD. He was in a wheel chair by 8-9, IIRC, and wasn't expected to live much past 14. He made it to around 22 or so, and was one of the coolest people I've ever met.

Luckily for Rocco his case doesn't sound that bad, but he still has a difficult road in front of him. I wish him all the best.
   8. Belfry Bob Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:06 PM (#2957326)
Was just talking with some Rays' fans at Camden Yards the other night (yes, there were lots of them there this week, though I'm not sure how many of them knew who the Rays were before, say, June, the long-suffering folks behind me excepted)about how good it was to see Rocco back. I'll be rooting even harder for him now.
   9. Craig in MN Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:11 PM (#2957329)
I thought we already knew this.

Ditto. It still sucks for him and makes me want to root for the guy, but I don't think this is the "EXCLUSIVE" that the website seems to think that it is.
   10. Gamingboy Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#2957333)
Ditto. It still sucks for him and makes me want to root for the guy, but I don't think this is the "EXCLUSIVE" that the website seems to think that it is.

Yeah, I just read it a bit closer and it does seem like it's just a piece meant to let people not following Baseball about a story that might interest them.
   11. Repoz Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:17 PM (#2957334)
More on the story (?)

Little reaction to Rocco Baldelli's muscular dystrophy diagnosis

Sometimes it's hard to take joy in getting the big scoop. The exclusive interview my co-anchor, Wendy Ryan got from Rays outfielder, Rocco Baldelli is one of those times. ABC Action News viewers last night learned that the 27 year old Baldelli has finally received a firm diagnosis for the muscle weakness and fatigue that has hampered his once shining career. It's a form of muscular dystrophy- not the devastating ALS suffered by the legendary Lou Gehrig, but it's serious nonetheless. Mitochondrial Myopathy makes physical exertion particularly exhausting. The muscles require a long period of time to recover. There is no known cure.

There wasn't anyone in our newsroom who didn't think this announcement would be a big story locally and nationally and elicit an outpouring of concern for Alas, neither daily paper has posted the news as of Friday morning. Five years ago, Rocco Baldelli was a contender for rookie of the year in the AL. He was one of the only players most Bay Area residents could even name back then. Rocco has lost some of the lightning speed that was his trademark, but his doctor believes with careful training, he could play another couple of years in the majors.

   12. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:19 PM (#2957338)
I for one cannot wait to hear what hilarious crack Bill Simmons will make with this news.

   13. Toolsy McClutch Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:23 PM (#2957341)
I have to make a crack, well because I want to. Rocco is now approaching Pam Ewing in terms of getting bizarre things, much like her bouts of neurofibromatosis...
   14. Jorge Luis Bourjos (Walewander) Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#2957349)
12, I think you're thinking of Kevin Hench.
   15. Toolsy McClutch Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:47 PM (#2957362)
I think Kevin Hench was sent down by the Jays. His buddy, Brad Wilkerson was talking to him on the phone about who they'd rather blow, Bobby Orr or Dustin P.
   16. DKDC Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:50 PM (#2957366)
Isn't this really old news?
   17. Spahn Insane Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:51 PM (#2957368)
Wow. This sucks.
   18. Robert in Manhattan Beach Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#2957377)
#14 - Could be. I don't know who that is, but still, could be.
   19. Rafael Bellylard: The Grinch of Orlando. Posted: September 26, 2008 at 09:59 PM (#2957382)
What sucks is the realization that this isn't going to get better. We all knew he had the mitochondrial condition, but I'm not sure it was widely reported that it was incurable.

I'm still rooting for my Red Sox, but if it can't be them, the Rays are solidly my #2 choice.
   20. Brandon in MO (Yunitility Infielder) Posted: September 26, 2008 at 10:05 PM (#2957394)
Have any other baseball players played with Muscular Dystrophy?
   21. Alex Vila Posted: September 26, 2008 at 10:10 PM (#2957398)
Lou Gehrig. ALS is a muscular dystrophy.
   22. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: September 26, 2008 at 10:26 PM (#2957410)
ALS is a progressive disease, you get worse and worse. I don't think mitochondrial myopathy gets worse and worse, it just prevents you from doing certain things. It's odd that someone could become a professional athlete with this condition, since the mildest symptom is usually exercise intolerance, and any more serious symptoms would make it hard to be an athlete starting in early childhood.

It seems like it's basically a mild form of exercise intolerance that he might not have even noticed if he was in a normal line of work.
   23. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: September 26, 2008 at 10:49 PM (#2957430)
The world just keeps raining #### on Joe Cooper Rocco Baldelli.
   24. Darren Posted: September 26, 2008 at 11:35 PM (#2957491)
Yeah, this "scoop" was weird. I heard about it today--"he's got MD." So I told my wife, who said, "Yeah you told me that a while back." She apparently already knew that one was a form of the other.
   25. Northpaw Posted: September 27, 2008 at 12:20 AM (#2957538)
Didn't Stan Belinda have some sort of muscular disease near the end of his career? I wonder how he is now.
   26. villageidiom Posted: September 27, 2008 at 02:32 AM (#2957777)
I'm not rooting for the Rays, but I'm rooting for Rocco.
   27. Rocco's Not-so Malfunctioning Mitochondria Posted: September 27, 2008 at 03:08 AM (#2957856)

#6 got it right. The news crew screwed up when they called it muscular dystrophy. I think this is the first time there's an official diagnosis, although the diagnosis basically just means they don't know what kind of mitochondrial disorder he has, so they're just lumping him into the catch-all category.
   28. Keith Law Posted: September 27, 2008 at 03:59 AM (#2957901)
Belinda was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

So one question I've had for a while ... figured there must be someone here who could answer: Are mitochrondial disorders genetic diseases?
   29. villageidiom Posted: September 27, 2008 at 04:56 AM (#2957920)
figured there must be someone here who could answer: Are mitochrondial disorders genetic diseases?
I think you're confused. This crowd can answer whether midi-chlorian disorders are genetic. ;-)

In about five minutes Googling I've gathered that mitochondria are inherited from the mother; that when the mitochondria divide their DNA is split randomly; that eventually a defective gene can end up dominating the DNA of a newly-formed mitochondrion; that that defective mitochondrion will replicate into multiple mitochondria, and so on until they reach the stage Baldelli is at now.

So, yes, they're genetic, in the sense that they are caused by defective genes. Whether the defects are inherited or mutated, or if a mutation is just a normal thing or prompted by a virus or bacteria, I don't know. It appears that they can be inherited, but it's unclear whether that's always so. At least that's what I get from reading stuff on the internet, which as we know is an infallible source of information.

Sorry to hear of Belinda's diagnosis. I had a cousin with MS, and it doesn't strike me as fun.

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