Vicente Padilla exists in a small sliver of the pitching population of baseball: the sustained mediocre. He’s never good enough to, well, be considered good. He’s never bad enough to be moved to the bullpen or demoted. He’s just there.
(He fights like he pitches: Poorly and with that stupid look on his face.)
Well, he was there, anyway. Texas, apparently tired of paying $12 million a year for a steaming plate of below average, designated the pitcher for assignment today. And they seem to be really, really happy about it.
A few months ago, the swine flu epidemic turned the international sports scene into absolute chaos. Soccer teams in Mexico were forced to play in empty stadiums, and high school games and tournaments across the US were threatened. It was a total mess, but fortunately American professional sports were spared any damage.
But that’s all changed, as the DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that Texas Rangers pitcher Vicente Padilla has been diagnosed with the swine flu after missing a start earlier this week with the always mysterious “flu-like symptoms.” Even more troubling, several of Padilla’s teammates are also laid up with bad flus, and while the team is waiting for test results to come back before they know anything for sure, it seems pretty clear that the Rangers might have a swine flu outbreak on their hands.