Heaney hosts Williams for workouts in Okla.

Angels lefties staying grounded, in shape, enjoying Monopoly

March 31st, 2020

ANAHEIM -- Angels left-hander , who was slated to be the club’s Opening Day starter against the Astros last Thursday, said Tuesday that he’s been staying in baseball shape by working out at his home in Oklahoma.

Heaney has been hosting fellow Angels lefty  at his house and the two have been working out in Heaney’s garage and playing catch in the street. But Heaney said that he’s not throwing bullpen sessions just yet, as he’s waiting until they know more about when the regular season would potentially start. He said that Angels pitchers are scheduled for a video conference call in the coming days to find out more about their throwing programs.

“For me, it’s about keeping myself mentally and physically occupied,” Heaney said. “I have to prepare to play 162 games. I think that’s everybody’s goal. It might be far-fetched, but that’s the goal. If you don’t have that mindset, you’re going to get caught off-guard. You’re better off being overprepared than underprepared.”

Heaney has otherwise tried to keep himself occupied at home, as he’s been playing a lot of Monopoly with his wife, Jordan, and Williams, while also watching movies at night. But Heaney joked that he’s not an artistic person or a video gamer, so he has a tougher time finding things to do. He said he hadn’t played video games in 15 years, but downloaded MLB The Show 2020 and played as himself, but was “terrible.”

Heaney understands the gravity of the COVID-19 outbreak, however, and considers himself fortunate to be in his position. He’s been able to see some family, including a niece who was born last week, after a self-quarantine of 14 days. It’s also his first time back in Oklahoma during spring in roughly 10 years, so he’s enjoying his time outside when he can.

“I mean, everybody's in an extremely uncomfortable, uncertain situation, so I count my blessings,” Heaney said. “Just knowing that I'm in a much more secure place than a lot of other people, I think you have to have a broader mindset.”

Heaney, though, said he does believe the return of baseball will be a major moment for the country, signaling a return to normalcy, and compared it to when baseball helped the nation heal after the Sept. 11, 2001, tragedy.

“I think baseball really shows it’s the national pastime in these situations,” Heaney said. “I think players understand it can be therapeutic, or maybe that’s a little overboard, but at least helpful for people in tough times.”