Vicente Padilla has swine flu

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Not only did Rangers assistant general manager Thad Levine announce that Vicente Padilla was diagnosed with H1N1 Type A influenza, better known as “Swine Flu” on Friday, but that he is still scheduled to make his next start on Tuesday:

“He was as surprised as anyone when
we told him this was the case. From everything we’ve been told, this is
certainly a different strain of the normal flu and by nature might be
deemed more serious, but you really wouldn’t treat it any differently.”

“Without speculating, I think it is
reasonable to expect that we may find some of our other guys have it.
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.”

“As an extra precaution, we have
encouraged him to go back to the hotel tonight and not sit in the
dugout or the clubhouse. He’s done that. I think we’ll continue to take
that level of precaution, and in addition [with] everyone else.”

In a related story, baseball sources tell Circling the Bases that Omar
Minaya has contacted Rangers general manager Jon Daniels in hopes that
an acquisition of Swine Flu could give the team a potential boost down
the stretch.

Jered Weaver dealing with “dead arm”

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Padres starter Jered Weaver lasted just two-thirds of an inning in Wednesday afternoon’s Cactus League appearance against the Royals. He yielded four runs on three hits, throwing 31 pitches before getting pulled. His spring ERA now sits at an ugly 10.13.

Weaver said he’s been dealing with a “dead arm” since his last bullpen session, but added he’s dealt with the issue in previous springs, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.

The Padres signed Weaver to a one-year, $3 million contract last month. The right-hander is coming off of the worst season of his 11-year career. His fastball averaged a career-low 83 MPH and he put up a 5.06 ERA with a 103/51 K/BB ratio in 178 innings.

Ian Kinsler doesn’t think Puerto Rico or Dominican Republic players play the game the right way

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Update: Whoops…

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Earlier, Craig wrote about Dan Duquette’s dogwhistle language in his criticism of Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista. We have some more dogwhistling, this time coming from Tigers (and Team U.S.) second baseman Ian Kinsler. Via Billy Witz of The New York Times:

I hope kids watching the W.B.C. can watch the way we play the game and appreciate the way we play the game as opposed to the way Puerto Rico plays or the Dominican plays. That’s not taking anything away from them. That just wasn’t the way we were raised. They were raised differently and to show emotion and passion when you play. We do show emotion; we do show passion. But we just do it in a different way.

The goal of the World Baseball Classic, created by Major League Baseball, is to promote baseball across the globe. It’s players like Puerto Rico’s Javier Baez who are doing the best job in that regard, not boring white guys from the U.S. Potential baseball fans are not swayed into liking the sport when a player hits a home run and solemnly puts his head down to stroll the bases. They get excited and energized when players show emotion, flip their bats, celebrate. Baez did more to make baseball appeal to new and lapsed audiences with his premature celebration tag than the entire U.S. team has done this tournament.

Furthermore, it is hypocritical to want to diversify the sport’s audience while squelching incoming cultures.

Jim Leyland also got in on the action:

Go Puerto Rico.