The Red Sox are still the division favorites, but some weird outside factors are doing everything they can to hold Boston back.
The flu is the most noteworthy issue going on with the Red Sox, but their roster is in short-term shambles for other reasons, too.
Along with Betts, Ramirez and Ross, the Red Sox are without shortstop Xander Bogaerts and reliever Matt Barnes, who are both on bereavement leave.
* * *If you’ve paid any attention to the Tigers-Red Sox series that has been going on in Detroit this weekend, you’ve probably noticed that the Red Sox roster hasn’t looked as you may have expected.
Betts and Ramirez are just the most notable players currently sitting out because of this illness, of which there are apparently three strains circulating the Red Sox clubhouse.
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Boston Red Sox play-by-play announcer, leaves midway through game due to flu
Dave O’Brien, the play-by-play announcer for New England Sports Network, got sick midway through the Red Sox’s 4-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers and left Comerica Park.
DETROIT — The flu bug that has run through the Boston Red Sox’s clubhouse for the past two weeks reached the broadcast booth here Saturday.
The flu has claimed several victims, beginning last week with Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland and a few members of the coaching staff.
The Red Sox have also been without starting shortstop Xander Bogaerts and reliever Matt Barnes, who are both on bereavement leave.
In addition to O’Brien, outfielder Andrew Benintendi was throwing up in the sixth inning Saturday, but he stayed in the game; the Red Sox are hopeful he might avoid the flu.
Farrell described three versions of the illness that simply won’t leave the Red Sox alone.
DETROIT — Quarantined for three days, right fielder Mookie Betts finally returned to the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday, and he’s expected back in the lineup today.
“He swung a little bit in the cage early in the game,” Farrell said.
“And we’ll see how he feels when he comes in tomorrow.”The flu bug has been relentless after first striking the ballclub in spring training.
One is a respiratory issue, another is simply flu-like symptoms and the most severe is the flu itself.
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