The Orioles arrived at Fenway Park Tuesday to face a Boston Red Sox team that only recently got its top stars back from a particularly nasty and contagious strain of the flu, but manager Buck Showalter said they’re not the only ones to have had illness impact the first week of the season.
Some teams, he said, just haven’t called as much attention to it.
“I don’t know where we are with the flu today,” Showalter said. “I haven’t gotten updated by [head athletic trainer Richie Bancells]. Everybody in the league has had that issue. I’ve had it and it’s a different strain, I’ll tell you. It lingers for a long time. Some of them seem to be a little more noteworthy, it seems like, but our guys have fought their way through it. I know we’ve got a lot of guys that aren’t 100 percent with it, but so do a lot of clubs. So nobody really wants to hear somebody else complain about it. Our guys have done a good job not broadcasting it to the world.”
The difference may be the severity of the illnesses. Publicly, only reliever Darren O’Day, who was unavailable on Opening Day, has missed any time from it.
On Boston’s side, the casualty list is long. It began in the spring with Mitch Moreland, and Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, and Brock Holt have all missed time with it once the season began, while reliever Robbie Ross Jr. actually needed a disabled list trip to recover. Rookie outfielder Andrew Benintendi threw up during a game, and recently, reliever Tyler Thornburg and infielder Josh Rutledge were added to the list.
The home clubhouse at Fenway Park was fumigated Saturday to safely provide a place for them to return home from Detroit, but manager John Farrell said their 3-3 start had nothing to do with the physical ailments.
“There’s a stomach flu, there’s a full-blown flu and there’s a respiratory, cold, head, all that stuff,” Farrell told reporters. “I mean, we’ve got a little bit of a MASH unit. But, I mean, the one thing I will say that not anyone has made an excuse. You know, we’ve got to go out and play. No one outside of our walls cares about what we’re going through and we don’t care what others are going through. We’ve got to take care of ourselves and get guys back healthy and we’re getting close to that point.”