Although the Boston Red Sox are currently in a fine state, David Price is not. The lefty pitcher has a 5.11 ERA after he barfed up seven earned runs in 3 2/3 innings against the lowly Rangers, and he was scratched from Wednesday’s start against the Yankees due to a “mild case” of carpal tunnel syndrome, according to manager Alex Cora. That turned Price into red meat for Boston’s sports media.
Dan Shaughnessy of the Boston Globe unleashed a banger yesterday: “Game on: Is David Price’s ailment linked to video gaming?” The first paragraph is simply the sentence “Carpal tunnel syndrome.”
Shank goes on to suggest that a recent story by The Athletic’s Jen McCaffrey might have a clue to the cause of Price’s injury, because the pitcher loves playing the multiplayer video game Fortnite well into the night:
I haven’t played a video game since the Ms. Pac-Man machine was hauled out of the Iron Horse at the Old Garden, but according to Jen McCaffrey’s May 7 report in The Athletic, “Fortnite” is all the rage in the Red Sox clubhouse.
According to McCaffrey, “The multiplayer game is set in a post-apocalyptic world where players are tasked with searching for survivors and resources, while gradually eliminating all your foes. The object is to be the last survivor at the end of each 100-player round.’’
Swell. The story reports that Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Xander Bogaerts, J. D. Martinez, and Price are among a dozen or more Fortnite fanboys.
Here’s what Price told The Athletic:
“Let’s say we get back at 11 p.m. from a game, we’ll play until 1 a.m., 1:30 a.m., 2 a.m., depending on what time our game is the next day. But day games or off days, we can put some time in . . . You can lose track of time whenever you’re playing it . . . I’ve got an Xbox. I’ve got my own backpack for it. I can put it in anywhere.’’
So there. We have our goofy story from this epic May series in the Bronx.
Shaughnessy’s other theory is that Price is too mentally fragile to pitch against the Yankees, since he lasted only one inning against them in an April 11 start, so the team had him skip the series this time around.
Also, the column ends with the one-word sentence, “Yuck.”
The Boston Herald’s Michael Silverman had a column today about Price and video games: “Is Fortnite habit the cause of David Price’s injury?” Similar to Shank’s but a bit lighter on the scolding, the article had quotes from an exasperated Cora:
Manager Alex Cora said, “no, no, no” if he believed that there was a link between Price’s video gaming practices and this injury.
“I mean, it can happen in different ways, like I said earlier today, it’s about repetition and I don’t know, you throw bullpens, you throw off of flat ground, you throw games, you make adjustments with pitches, I don’t know, the only thing we know is it’s this and, for me, this is quote unquote good news compared to thinking about something news,” said Cora.
That answer did not truly satisfy some of the media gathered at Cora’s pre-game media session.
Didn’t he know that video gaming has been linked to carpal tunnel syndrome and since that’s the case, will he ask his players to stop gaming?
“When he comes here (today) we’ll talk about it,” said Cora. “We’ll talk with (trainer) Brad (Pearson) and see where we’re at. From what I know, David has played video games his whole life. It seems like Fortnite now is the one everybody is playing, but last year, I saw a lot of guys playing Fifa. That’s a lot of playing, too. So, there’s a lot of teams playing Fortnite, too. We’ll talk about it (today).”
The scrutiny worked, in that Price will no longer be gaming at Fenway Park.
First a youth lacrosse team, and now the Boston Red Sox clubhouse. Fortnite is an unstoppable scourge.