CINCINNATI -- The dreaded illness known as "flu-like symptoms" has descended upon the Reds' clubhouse.
Shortstop Zack Cozart was out of the starting lineup in Tuesday's series opener against the Indians at Great American Ball Park because he was sick and replaced by Wilson Valdez. Drew Stubbs, who hasn't played since last Tuesday because of an oblique injury, was also ill. Joey Votto was also feeling under the weather, but he played.
"Some on the field are even sick, just not maybe as sick as those who are very sick," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It's what you dread every year, something going around the team. We've been pretty lucky the last couple of years with that.
"I tell guys, 'Don't shake hands.' Whoever came up with the fist bump, that's the most sanitary way to shake hands."
There were other players who were sick as well. Not sure if he would be short-handed on the bench, Baker was planning on consulting with the training staff to see which players were healthy enough to play, if needed.
Baker recalled being very sick during a game as a player with the Dodgers.
"[Manager Tommy] Lasorda wouldn't let me go home," Baker said. "He made me put my uniform on and lay down on the training table. ... They woke me up around the 11th [inning] and told me to hit. I hit a home run off of Jim Kaat and I won the game with a walk-off, and I don't even remember it. I hope we don't get that far, but that's how it was. They didn't let you stay home in those days. They put you in a dark room in case they needed you."
The date of Baker's walk-off homer was Sept. 5, 1981, vs. the Cardinals for a 4-3 Dodgers victory.