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Rocco Baldelli Gets a New Diagnosis

by November 30, 1999 @ 12:00 am (Category : Uncategorized )

Dec 17th 2008 11:19AM by Pat Lackey (author feed)
For most of the year last year, Rocco Baldelli tried to figure out what was wrong with him. He knew he had a disease that was sapping the energy out of him, but no one was certain of what it was. Late in the year, doctors diagnosed him with mitochondrial myopathy, an untreatable genetic disease that would affect him for the rest of his life. It was pretty grim news, but Baldelli seemed happy simply to know what was wrong with him.

After the season ended, Baldelli went to the Cleveland Clinic for a second opinion and got some good news; he doesn’t have mitochondrial myopathy at all. Instead, he’s now being diagnosed with channelopathy. Channelopathy is actually an incredibly wide-ranging term used to describe any sort of ion-channel disorder (I won’t go into ion channels, but we’ll say it’s a cellular problem and leave it at that), but the good news for Baldelli is that it appears that whatever form he has, it’s treatable.

Perhaps even better news, for him, is that he’s still a free agent. Every team interested in him, especially NL teams, were faced with the uncertainty of how his disease would affect his play. He was barely able to play right field for the Rays last year because of his fatigue. Now, it would seem that it’s no longer an issue. Because his fatigue was also responsible for many of the leg problems that kept him out of action for long stretches since 2005, whoever signs him may get much more than we expected going in to the off-season.

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