Roger Mooney covers the Tampa Bay Rays for The Tampa Tribune, TBO.com and News Channel 8. He has covered the Rays since their first season in 1998, including 11 years for the Bradenton Herald. Roger has also covered Florida, South Florida and Florida State football, the Bucs and the Lightning.
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Baldelli denies report of muscular dystrophy
Posted Sep 26, 2008 by Marc Lancaster
Updated Sep 26, 2008 at 07:29 PM
DETROIT—Rocco Baldelli and the Rays today emphatically denied a report by WFTS, Ch. 28 that the outfielder has been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy.
Updating: Rays president Matt Silverman just released a statement that reads as follows:
“The report issued by WFTS-TV Channel 28 is irresponsible and erroneous. We expect an immediate retraction and an apology to Rocco and his family.”
The report, billed as an “exclusive,” quoted Dr. Allan Weiss, a physician who has been treating Baldelli, discussing the effects of mitochondrial myopathy on the player. Baldelli revealed in spring training he had been diagnosed with a mitochondrial disorder.
“The report is erroneous. It is incorrect terminology,” Weiss said this afternoon in comments relayed by a Rays spokesman. “He has mitochondrial myopathy, not muscular dystrophy. They are different diseases, both covered by MDA.”
Asked directly Friday afternoon if he had been diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, Baldelli said, “No.”
Of the WFTS report, Baldelli said, “That’s awful.”
Mitochondrial myopathy is one of 43 diseases under the umbrella of the Muscular Dystrophy Assocation. Baldelli recently taped a public service announcement to help with MDA’s fundraising.