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Flu shots? Buck says he wasn't insulting Sox

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- Maybe you have to read between the lines to decide if Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been taking flu shots at the Red Sox the last couple of days.

Last week, the Red Sox were without Mookie Betts for three games and Hanley Ramirez for four due to the flu, and lefty reliever Robbie Ross Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list with influenza. Several other players were also affected, including Andrew Benintendi, who was vomiting during Saturday's game against the Tigers.

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BOSTON -- Maybe you have to read between the lines to decide if Orioles manager Buck Showalter has been taking flu shots at the Red Sox the last couple of days.

Last week, the Red Sox were without Mookie Betts for three games and Hanley Ramirez for four due to the flu, and lefty reliever Robbie Ross Jr. was placed on the 10-day disabled list with influenza. Several other players were also affected, including Andrew Benintendi, who was vomiting during Saturday's game against the Tigers.

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"The Red Sox are the only ones that have it, huh?" Showalter said on Wednesday. "I didn't know that. Nobody else has it? No, everybody in the whole league's got it. It just seems to get broadcast more here."

Though Showalter sounded like he was trying to tweak his American League East opponent, he said that was not the case.

"Am I trying to needle the Red Sox?" Showalter said to a Boston media member. "No. That's ridiculous, but I appreciate you trying to go down that road. That's typical."

For context, here is what Showalter said on Tuesday.

"Everybody in the league has a flu issue. I've had it. It's a different strain. It lingers for a long time. Some of them seem to be a little more noteworthy, it seems like," he said. "Our guys have fought their way through it. We got a lot of guys who aren't 100 percent with it. So do other clubs. So, nobody really wants to hear somebody complain about it. Our guys have done a good job not broadcasting it to the world."

Red Sox manager John Farrell defended his team's handling of the situation on Wednesday.

"We haven't publicized it," he said. "I've answered questions. There's been no excuses made. We're here to play baseball."

Was Farrell surprised by Showalter's comments?

"No," Farrell said.

Showalter maintained he wasn't taking a shot at the Red Sox.

"It wasn't meant that way," Showalter said.

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

 

Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles