Simmons, who recently finalized a one-year, $10.5 million contract using the Minnesota Twins, chose to discuss his story in writing, through a string of Twitter direct messages, rather than because"it remains difficult to articulate certain items or be open"
The Angels announced on Sept. 22 that Simmons had opted out of the last five games of the regular season. No further information was supplied, though Simmons said in a statement he felt it had been"the best decision for me and for my loved ones." At the time, the Angels stayed mathematically in the race for the second wild card along with second place in the American League West. Although their chances of reaching the postseason were slim, league rules demanded that prospective playoff teams begin quarantining that week in prep for upcoming playoff games.
"It was hard for me mentally to where the idea of suicide crossed my mind," Simmons told the Register. "It was something I vowed quite a while ago I'd never believe again. I was fortunate to talk to a therapist, which helped me let go of those thoughts. At the end when a lot of people were going through exactly what many would think of as difficult times, the notion of finishing the year in a bubble was too much for me to take care of."
Simmons played in just 30 games throughout the abbreviated regular season, also missing time because of an ankle he hurt for a third straight summer. He told the Register it was difficult to concentrate on baseball when so many individuals were struggling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"First time was driving through Oakland and seeing a few of the shops and restaurants attempting to remain open with the homeless people camping out," he explained.
"I was actually saddened by how much I was hearing about the death toll and seeing how smaller companies were going out of business, and that had been a little depressed at the way the ramifications of all of the new rules and anxieties were gont influence people's livelihoods and how disconnected individuals were becoming," he explained.
Simmons told the Register that he was not forthcoming about his reasons for opting out in the time"because I don't like the concept of having to explain every facet of my life" and"was fearful of people judging and individuals twisting my narrative." But he said he changed his mind once he understood that being open about his position could help others who are struggling.