Tigers taking precaution against flu

Tigers taking precaution against flu

ARLINGTON -- The Tigers have had their share of illnesses over the years, usually at least once a season, and to know how that can devastate a team. But the Rangers' current flu bout was enough of a concern that the Tigers took precautions on their visit here.

The Rangers had several players out of action with the flu last week, including catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Omar Vizquel, Elvis Andrus and Eddie Guardado, and others were limited. But it was Vicente Padilla's case that proved especially troubling. He was scratched from his previous starting assignment last Wednesday and tested positive for H1N1 Type-A influenza, commonly known as swine flu.

No other Rangers have tested positive for the virus, and the Rangers seemingly have grown healthier over the past couple days. Still, the Tigers and Rangers took precautions at Rangers Ballpark at Arlington. The visiting clubhouse was disinfected, and Tigers personnel were given doses of Tamiflu to take during their time here.

None of the Tigers seemed particularly concerned by it. Manager Jim Leyland tried to make light of it when his wife called him to ask how he was doing.

"I said, 'Oink,'" Leyland said.

The Tigers had more pressing health worries on their team flight into Dallas Sunday night. Pitching coach Rick Knapp passed out in front of a restroom on the plane and had to be awakened by head athletic trainer Kevin Rand and their staff.

An ambulance met the plane upon landing at Love Field and took Knapp to a local hospital, but tests showed no cause for concern and no reason to suspect a heart attack or stroke. Knapp was at work at the park Monday and said he felt fine. He was more embarrassed about the incident than anything.

Still, that embarrassment couldn't match the concern on the part of the Tigers as they watched Rand and others trying to revive him as the plane rushed to land.

"A lot of players were upset, scared," Leyland said.

Said reliever Bobby Seay: "It was just pandemonium there for a minute. You don't know what was going on."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.