Friday, July 24, 2009

Texas' Vicente Padilla Makes Wrong Kind of Baseball History

Vicente Padilla is a veteran starting pitcher for the Texas Rangers. He's a relatively anonymous player. While many baseball fans know who he is, he hasn't put up really notable numbers over the course of his career. He's kind of just been there.

For the first time, Padilla's name is now associated with baseball history. No, he wasn't on the wrong side of Mark Buehrle's perfect game.

Instead, Padilla has become -- we think -- the first major professional athlete to test positive for the H1N1 virus, otherwise known as swine flu. Not only that, but there's serious reason for concern that other Ranger players may have contracted the disease.

It's probably not the kind of thing you want tell the kids about.

The Rangers appear very concerned, but also optimistic that they can beat down this thing before there's any kind of major baseball-wide outbreak.

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.

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.

"Without speculating, I think it is reasonable to expect that we may find some of our other guys have it," (Texas assistant GM Thad) 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."

The Portland Beavers minor-league team is dealing with a flu outbreak, according to the piece. However, they aren't believed to be looking at an H1N1 issue.

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