ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — First-year Kansas City manager Matt Quatraro returned to the dugout for the Royal’s game against the Texas Rangers on Monday night after missing the previous five games with COVID-19.
The Royals went 2-3 under interim manager Paul Hoover, their bench coach. Kansas City lost four of its first five games under Quatraro, who left the team one game into a three-game home series against Toronto.
“I missed it,” Quatraro said. “Not everybody gets a break after five days in their career. Poorly timed, but I’m happy to be back.”
Quatraro participated in phases of pregame planning while away, giving Hoover and the other coaches basic instructions. But once the games began, he was just another spectator – a highly interested one.
“It was watch TV and pace around the house,” he said. “Eat too much, probably.”
Quatraro, 49, is a major league manager for the first time. He most recently was the Tampa Bay Rays’ bench coach.
The Royals won two of three at San Francisco over the weekend on the first half of a six-game road trip. That leaves Quatraro one game behind his interim manager in winning percentage.
“He’s way ahead of me,” Quatraro said. “Hopefully I can catch him. I was hoping he got a better lead.”
Quatraro said he felt fine after his bout with COVID-19, sitting out the mandatory minimum according to Major League Baseball. He tested positive last May and missed five Rays games.
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