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Greek-Canadian Braves GM Anthopoulos Missed Series Clincher Due to COVID (Video)

HOUSTON – Greek-Canadian Atlanta Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos tested positive for COVID-19 and was not with the team when it clinched the World Series championship on November 2.

Anthopoulos said he tested positive for the virus on October 30. He was back in the Atlanta area during the Braves’ 7-0 victory over the Houston Astros in Game 6.

“We were not going to take any chances,” he said.

Anthopoulos said he and his wife are fully vaccinated and no one in his family had any virus-related symptoms. He said he woke up his 9-year-old son in the ninth inning and got to watch the end of the game as a family.

“My kids are fine, my wife is fine. We just had our own little World Series party at home,” he said.

Anthopoulos had a huge hand in the Braves’ title, orchestrating several deals before the trade deadline in late July to fortify a wobbling team.

“I hate that he’s not here,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said after the game. “He’s such a big part of this.”

The 44-year-old Anthopoulos has been the Braves’ general manager since November 2017.

Last month, Atlanta slugger Jorge Soler missed five playoff games after testing positive for COVID-19. He rejoined the team in time for the World Series and wound up winning the MVP award.

According to the New York Times, “only Terry McGuirk, the club’s chairman, and Manager Brian Snitker knew about the positive test, Anthopoulos said, because ‘what I didn’t want was for it to become a story where the players and manager were getting asked about it. I wanted all the focus on the team.’”

“The players didn’t even know until after they won the title, Anthopoulos said, because ‘one minute of time spent with me being the topic would have been inappropriate,’” the Times reported.

“He’s here, he really is,” McGuirk said of Anthopoulos while celebrating on the field, the Times reported, adding that “we’ve lived dog years through this year. We were left for dead multiple times in the first half.”

“Back home in Georgia, Anthopoulos’ family was back in bed,” the Times reported, noting that Anthopoulos “watched the game with his wife, Cristina, and, partly, with his daughter, Julia, 11, and son, John, 9.”

“I wouldn’t trade Alex Anthopoulos for any executive in baseball,” McGuirk told the Times following the Game 6 win. “I fell in love with him the first time I met him, and he’s more than rewarded the faith we had in him. I just FaceTimed him a few minutes ago and he’s as ecstatic as all of us.”

“Anthopoulos’ path to the World Series came after a near miss in 2015 and then a bombshell,” the Times reported, adding that the Montreal-native “started in baseball with the Expos in 2000, moved to the Blue Jays in 2003 and ascended to vice president of baseball operations and general manager there in 2009.”

“By 2015, he had built a 93-game winner that nearly pushed Kansas City, the eventual World Series champion, to a Game 7 in the A.L.C.S., leaving runners on second and third in the ninth inning of a 3-2 loss in Game 6,” the Times reported, noting that “it was Toronto’s first playoff appearance in 22 years.”

With the Braves, “he inherited a team that included several key components of this year’s run, including Freddie Freeman, Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies… he added several of his own touches, like naming Snitker as manager and this year’s trade deadline flourishes,” the Times reported.

“Personally, it is impossible to be any happier for Alex, Cristina and their kids,” Friedman said in a text message shortly after Atlanta won Tuesday night, the Times reported. “He is as committed, passionate and knowledgeable of an executive as I have been around. He and his staff have done an incredible job adjusting to all of the challenges they were confronted with this season.”

Anthopoulos had also served as an advance scout for the Greek National Baseball Team for the 2004 Summer Olympics; which finished in 7th place.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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