HOUSTON (CBS SF/ AP) — Former manager Art Howe, who spent seven years at the helm of the A’s, winning 600 regular-season games, was in intensive care Friday in a Houston hospital with the coronavirus.
The 73-year-old Howe, best known as the manager of the ”Moneyball” Oakland Athletics playoff teams in the late 1990s and early 2000s, confirmed to Houston TV station KPRC 2 on Thursday night he has been dealing with the illness since first feeling symptoms of COVID-19 on May 3.
Howe told the station he found out he was positive two days after being tested and tried to recover at home. He went to the hospital by ambulance on Tuesday, and remained in ICU.
“Never experienced anything like it before,” Howe said, adding that he needs to go 24 hours without a fever before he can be released from the hospital.
Howe spent 12 seasons in the majors as a player, primarily at second base and third base. He played for Pittsburgh (1974-75) and Houston (1976-82), but missed the 1983 season with an injury before playing two more years for St. Louis (1984-85). Howe hit .260 over his career with 43 home runs and 293 RBIs. His only postseason homer in three playoff trips came in the 1981 NL Division Series against Los Angeles.
Howe began his big league managerial career with the Astros in 1989 and led them for five seasons.
He took over the A’s in 1996 and managed them for seven years while winning 600 regular-season games and leading Oakland to the playoffs three times.
Those teams became known for general manager Billy Beane’s then-unconventional method of using sabermetrics to evaluate players. Author Michael Lewis wrote a bestselling book on the A’s called “Moneyball,” and it was later turned into a film starring Brad Pitt as Beane and Philip Seymour Hoffman as Howe.
Howe was released from his contract with the A’s after the 2002 season and became the manager of the New York Mets for two seasons.
”Want to send best wishes on behalf of our entire organization to former (at)Mets manager Art Howe who is in a Houston hospital battling COVID-19,” Mets vice president of alumni public relations and team historian Jay Horwitz wrote on Twitter. ”Never have met a nicer man.”
Howe, whose managerial record is 1,129-1,137, most recently served as Texas’ bench coach during the 2007 and ’08 seasons.
The A’s family has been hit pretty hard during the current outbreak.
Miguel Marte, a former minor league player with the Oakland A’s organization, died from complications from COVID-19 at the start of May.
A prospect from the Dominican Republic, Marte played in the A’s farm system from 2008 through 2012. He was 30 years old and is survived by wife, Jasmin, and his two children.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends,” the team said in a social media post.
The A’s posted a link to a GoFundMe fundraiser organized by Marte’s loved ones, and the team has donated $1,000.
In late March, A’s minor league manager Webster Garrison was hospitalized in Louisiana due to the coronavirus. Garrison, who was slated to manage the organization’s rookie ball affiliate in the Arizona League, is recovering after spending more than three weeks on a ventilator, according to his fiancee.