Kernels manager Brian Dinkelman takes advantage of extra family time
Normally this time of the year, Kernels manager Brian Dinkelman would be filling out the lineup card, giving signals or waving a runner home.
Of course, the season is on hold due to COVID-19.
"For the last 14 years, I've either been playing or coaching," said Dinkelman. "This is right in the middle of the season so it's been an adjustment."
Dinkelman has been with the Kernels for the past five years. He served as the team's hitting coach from 2016-18. Last year, he was named the team's manager.
Even with all of the demand Dinkelman's had in his career as a player and a coach, he's always had support, including from his wife, Randi. Now, he's using this time to support her. She's a speech pathologist at Mercy Medical Center in Cedar Rapids.
"Usually, she's cheering me on here at the games, but now, she's still working at the hospital every day," Dinkelman said. "It makes us a little nervous at times, just because there are patients at the hospital who have COVID. Just worry that somehow she might come in contact or bring it home to us, but she's been pretty good with it."
And the time off has given him a chance to spend more time with his daughter, Sydney.
"It does take a little bit to keep her busy," Dinkelman said. "We've been riding bikes a lot with the nice weather and playing in the yard. We went golfing the other day for the first time and she got to ride in the golf cart."
There's no telling when the season will start up again. The Kernels would be about six weeks into the season. Dinkelman is hopeful to be back in the dugout, but he knows he's not taking this family time for granted.
"This is probably a once in a lifetime opportunity because usually during baseball season, every year you're gone," he said. "So now to enjoy some time at home for an extended time has been good for both us and the whole family."