â†µVicente Padilla is a rare specimen: the kind of guy who's good enough to start in a terrible rotation, but bad enough to ensure that the rotation stays terrible. These players are usually referred to as "punchlines," and that's usually a designation they either earn or do nothing to distance themselves from. â†µ
â†µFair? No, it's not fair, but then things like this happen, and we have to say "well, of course it's Vincente Padilla." Mr. Padilla, please enjoy your swine flu: â†µâ†µ
â†µâ‡¥Padilla was scratched from his start Wednesday against Boston due to flulike symptoms, and lab reports Friday indicated he had H1N1 influenza A. He is thought to be the first athlete in U.S. major pro sports to be diagnosed with swine flu. â†µâ†µ
â†µPadilla's the first to get H1N1. Is he the last? No, probably not, and you probably don't have to look very far to find some more (emphasis ours): â†µâ†µ â†µ
â†µâ‡¥Several Rangers players have been hit with the flu this week, including Eddie Guardado, Omar Vizquel and David Murphy. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was scratched from Friday night's game against Kansas City due to the flu.â‡¥ â†µâ‡¥â†µYou know what's even positiver (new word alert) than that? Not having a player give half your team the world's most dreaded new disease of the year. Sure, it hasn't been an actual health emergency stateside--that would be because of the countrywide overreaction to the disease, not in spite of it, by the way--but still: it's the swine flu, people. â†µ
â†µâ‡¥The team held a meeting Wednesday advising everyone to take necessary hygiene precautions, and the Rangers' flight to Kansas City was delayed until Friday morning in order to provide additional recovery time. Cultures have been sent away to determine if any other players have swine flu. â‡¥ â†µâ‡¥â†µâ‡¥
â†µâ‡¥"Without speculating, I think it is reasonable to expect that we may find some of our other guys have it," Levine said. "We've been medicating our players. We would use the same medication and the same kind program to rehabilitate them and they've all shown improvement. Those are the positive signs."â‡¥ â†µâ‡¥â†µ
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