Major League Baseball's regular season is barely into its second week of play, and the early advanced numbers from StatCast, Brooks Baseball, and Inside Edge scouting need to be taken with a grain of salt because of sample-size issues. But.
The Boston Red Sox lead the league in cooties.
That, at least, is the likely correct assertion of the Minnesota Twins, who got the Detroit Tigers to disinfect the visitor's clubhouse at Comerica Park, along with the broadcast booths, following the Red Sox's flu-ridden visit to the Motor City over the weekend. Not even the team hotel was safe.
The St. Paul Pioneer Press and Minneapolis Star-Tribune (among others) have reported that at least six Red Sox players, along with members of the coaching staff and TV play-by-play guy Dave O'Brien, came down with the flu. Star outfielder Mookie Betts missed the first three games of the Tigers series because of illness, rookie Andrew Benintendi was spotted vomiting at one point (though he stayed in the lineup), and Hanley Ramirez needed to visit a local hospital for treatment.
O'Brien left mid-broadcast Saturday because he got too sick to continue. With analyst Jerry Remy left in the booth, NESN's Tom Caron called the rest of the game remotely from a monitor some 700 miles away in a TV studio. Yes, Red Sox fever is that contagious. Once upon a time, losing was the Red Sox disease. Now it's become an actual, physical ailment.
Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski told NESN, "There's three different viruses, they tell me, going along." What kind of market inefficiency is this superbug? Dombrowski added that, with the Red Sox collectively feeling sick for about two weeks, the home accommodations at Fenway Park also have been fumigated and disinfected, in anticipation of Boston's return home to play the Orioles later tonight.
Hopefully, Buck Showalter shows up to exchange lineup cards with John Farrell wearing a surgical mask.