Woodward thanks workers 'on the front lines'

March 25th, 2020

ARLINGTON -- In the Woodward household, the husband has the less stressful job.

Chris Woodward is only a Major League manager. Erin Woodward, his wife, is an emergency room nurse in Arizona.

“She puts herself at risk every time she walks into an ER,” Woodward said. “She is exposed to a lot of different things.”

That is why Chris and Erin appeared in a Twitter video Wednesday morning to thank all of the first responders and healthcare workers who have put in long hours during the national emergency created by the coronavirus pandemic.

“There are a lot of people putting themselves at risk,” Woodward said. “A lot of these people, without protective measures, are exposing themselves over and over again. It’s just a matter of time before some of these healthcare workers end up getting the virus.

“They are willing to do that because they are trying to save lives. We’re just trying to say thank you to all these people who are on the front lines. They are putting themselves at risk for all of us.”

Chris, Erin and their three children are at their home in Chandler, Ariz., just south of Phoenix. Their oldest daughter Sophie had her senior year of high school disrupted by the national emergency. Her mother had been taking time off from working in the emergency room to go back to school for more training. Chris Woodward said it’s just a matter of time before she is called back to duty.

General manager Jon Daniels and his wife Robyn are with their three children in Southlake, Texas. Daniels is trying to stay in shape by doing his daily workouts on his daughter Harper’s gymnastics mat.

Daniels, Woodward and their wives have also been providing meals for healthcare workers at Medical City of Arlington and Dallas.

“We are just trying to help as much as we can,” Woodward said. “Family and friends, people are really struggling in the world and in our communities in Arizona, where we live, and in Texas. We know people are really struggling through this whole situation. We are just trying to do anything we can to help out.”

As far as baseball, Woodward is staying in touch with his players almost daily and getting updates on what they are doing to stay ready once it is time to go back to work.

“A lot of these guys were ready when we got stopped, so we are trying to maintain that as much as possible without breaking protocol,” Woodward said. “When this thing does resume, we are going to have to figure out a way to play baseball.”

Woodward did offer some good news during a conference call with local reporters on Wednesday. Willie Calhoun, who was hit by a pitch on March 15 and suffered a broken jaw, has had no concussion issues. He had a wire removed from his teeth and is starting to ride a stationary bicycle.

Calhoun was not going to be ready on Thursday, when the Rangers were scheduled to open the season against the Angels. But Woodward said he expects Calhoun to be ready when the season does resume.

“That was going to be a big black eye for us to start the season,” Woodward said. “Now it won’t be because he will be healthy.”

Woodward said veteran catcher Jeff Mathis is over his pulled left hamstring and able to do baseball activities. Catcher Jose Trevino (hairline fracture, right index finger) is able to swing a bat again and Jesse Chavez (shoulder weakness) is maintaining his throwing program.

Major League Baseball’s goal is to play as many games as possible once the season is able to begin. Woodward and his staff continue to talk about all the possibilities.

“We are trying to get ahead of anything that may come at us,” Woodward said. “We are trying to prepare for every scenario. When we do get back, and it will happen, what are we going to do to get ready?

“If they give us a week, we’ll find a way. We’ll make do with whatever they give us. If that means we have to hold [pitchers] back as far as the innings, we’ll have to do that. MLB will probably notice that and give us extra players. They’ll figure out a way to keep guys from being injured or putting guys at risk.”