Red Sox pitcher David Price and the team have been showered with questions over whether his carpal tunnel syndrome that was diagnosed this week is being caused by the popular video game Fortnite. It’s been a topic of discussion that some people are pointing back to an article published by The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey on Monday.
All you need to know from McCaffrey’s article is that Price loves Fortnite, just like many other people, including his teammates. According to McCaffrey, Carson Smith, Craig Kimbrel, Chris Sale, Eduardo Rodriguez, Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes, Joe Kelly, J.D. Martinezm, and Heath Hembree are all in on the craze. There’s no mention of Price having pain while playing the game, or any other symptoms.
But after missing a start on Wednesday against the Yankees to go along with his 2-4 record and a 5.11 ERA through seven starts, speculation started stirring that perhaps (not proven!) Fortnite had something to do with his struggles. It’s unsurprising that Boston media would turn something harmless and fun into a problem for a struggling pitcher who makes a lot of money.
Not all cases of carpal tunnel are the same. You could experience tingling (like Price) or numbness, as well as weakness in the hand. There are a bunch of reasons why you could get carpal tunnel according to the Mayo Clinic, including a wrist fracture or dislocation, arthritis, sex, diabetes, obesity, fluid retention, menopause, thyroid disorders, kidney failure, etc.
And workplace factors, which is something we can examine for Price. He’s a professional athlete straining his body — “prolonged or repetitive flexing of the wrist may create harmful pressure on the median nerve or worsen existing nerve damage”
Another key factor here — playing video games isn’t new for Price. “If that was the cause of the problem, it started back in 1997 when I got my first PlayStation when I was 12 years old,” he said via ESPN. “I’ve always played it with my teammates, during the offseason, at the field, at the hotel,” he said. “That’s kind of my generation. That’s what we do. If I need to shut down video games and pick up a new hobby, then so be it. But I do not think that’s the cause.’’
Even Red Sox manager Alex Cora doesn’t think Fortnite is at fault. When he was asked whether that was the case he said, “No, no, no.” The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman mentioned that when Cora was being questioned about it, he “looked about as uncomfortable as he has at any other point in his 36-game tenure” as manager. Which, I’m sure he did. It’s pretty dumb, annoying, and irresponsible to jump to conclusions on any injury.
All the dumb stuff aside — Fortnite is awesome. The Steelers’ JuJu Smith-Schuster played with Ninja, a famous Twitch streamer of the game, as well as Drake and Travis Scott. NBA players are also in on the game too, with the Thunder’s Steven Adams posting wins on his Instagram, and the Lakers’ Josh Hart streaming on Twitch regularly.
The game pits up to 100 players in a battle royale, and lets them compete in teams of two, or even three and four in other game modes. It’s addicting, and incredibly intense. Lonzo Ball woke up his girlfriend yelling over his first win in the game at 3 a.m. UMBC became the first 16-seed to beat a 1-seed in the men’s NCAA tournament, and compared *that* historical moment to winning in Fortnite. It’s that serious.
In fact, here’s a text message exchange between me and my colleague and fellow Fortnite fanatic Whitney Medworth after I won a game with a couple of slick rocket launcher shots to end it:
To get a taste of this awesomeness, watch Ninja’s best moments. You’ll understand:
As for Price, it looks like he is going to be a “team” player and take a break from the game since we have some Fun Police out here. He is pitching on Saturday.
It’s great that he’s back in the rotation, but unfortunate that he is giving up something he loves. Dear Red Sox fans, please ignore the noise coming from Boston sports media, and let Price play his Fortnite and continue to have fun with his teammates.