What we talk about when we talk about “flu-like symptoms”

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Kris Bryant left today’s game against the Dodgers with flu-like symptoms in the third inning. Which would, by definition  I suppose, make him day-to-day.

Which made me think a bit about “flu-like symptoms.” Most people assume that means “dude’s hungover.” In a lot of cases it probably is. It could also be a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, to put it delicately. That’s gotta be the universe, right? Anything else would be called what it really is, but a hangover and diarrhea are a couple of things which sort of beg for euphemisms.

I mean, if it’s the actual flu, we call it the flu, right? Michael Jordan had the flu against the Jazz that time. If you have the actual flu, you may WANT to keep playing. This is a deep dive, but back in 2007 Mark Teixeira had two homers and six RBI in a single game, after which it was revealed he had the actual flu. Or at least a stomach flu, in that he was barfing his guts out. He was asked about playing with the flu and he actually claimed it was an advantage:

When you [play with the flu], for some reason you get more focused, because you know you can’t do everything you’re used to doing. You’re slower and your body hurts a little bit. So you focus and you’re going to have nights like this.

Maybe that’s baloney, but there’s some bit of wisdom in there someplace.

As for Bryant, who knows? But here’s hoping he makes a quick recovery. From whatever it is that ails him.

Houston’s Yordan Alvarez leaves game with ankle discomfort

Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports
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HOUSTON — Houston slugger Yordan Alvarez left the Astros’ game against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, rolled his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first inning.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by pinch-hitter David Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.