Hendu Flu Rips Through Phillies Camp

Steve Henderson is probably not the most popular guy in Clearwater, Florida right now. There’s an outbreak in camp and manager Pete Mackanin did not hesitate to throw his hitting coach under the bus.
“It’s been going around for a while. It started with Steve Henderson. We’re calling it the Hendu flu,” said Mackanin.

After book-ending a seven run second inning with a pair of strikeouts, Ryan Howard exited last Friday’s exhibition game against the Atlanta Braves complaining of illness. Other than noting that the first baseman was congested and “didn’t feel right,” Mackanin didn’t offer a clue as to the severity or symptoms of the illness. Feel free to use your imagination.

The bug did not discern between veterans and prospects, making victims of Nick Williams, Tyler Goeddel, and Triple-A Manager Dave Brundage. Even Mike Schmidt and poor Charlie Manuel were stricken.

Just yesterday, righty Jeremy Hellickson was scratched from his start against Baltimore, the latest casualty of the clubhouse epidemic.

The Hendu Flu knows no mercy.

As it turns out, this is not the first time the Phillies came to South Florida and caught something terrible. Behold a Daily News clipping from February 26th, 1999.

“Nearly a third of the 59 players in camp Friday were stricken with a harsh strain of stomach virus including starters Scott Rolen, Rico Brogna, Mike Lieberthal and No. 1 draft Pick Pat Burrell.”

“‘When I got here at 5:30 in the morning, I found Burrell and (Steve) Carver asleep on a table,’” said manager Terry Francona.”

Wayne Gomes, Doug Glanville, and pitching coach Galen Cisco also caught the bug.

According to the report “the first one to get sick was left-hander Paul Spoljaric, who missed the first day of workouts last week.” Paul Spoljaric managed an 0-3 record with a 15.09 ERA for the Phillies across 11.1 innings that year before being dealt to the Blue Jays for Robert Person.

Spoljaric started the epidemic and the Phillies shipped him off to Canada. The moral of the story is, watch out Steve Henderson.

Also, drink plenty of fluids, get a ton of rest, and a hot compress couldn’t hurt.

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  1. Kyle

    March 10, 2016 09:24 AM

    Now if the 2016 Phillies can win 77 games like the 1999 Phillies that be something.

    • Ken Bland

      March 11, 2016 04:04 PM

      In the history of baseball’s anticipated lousy teams, how often were those inevitable losers attached to a better than expected prediction this time of year. Probably 30-50% of the time, maybe a bit lower. The Phils, to my awareness were not seen that way at all last year, but alas, in your “hope” for 77 W’s this year…..Peter Gammons writes the following today…

      Scouts watching Philadelphia rave about young players like Roman Quinn and Maikel Franco, the Houston deal deepened their pitching and one scout in the division opines “the Phillies are far better than people think.”

      I guess 77 compared to the worst in baseball O/U that 1 Vegas book has of 64 1/2 would qualify as “far better than people think.” Unfortunately, unnamed scouts are as rampant as mystery teams in trade rumors. But it’s the thought that counts, not the thinker.

  2. Mark

    March 10, 2016 09:39 AM

    OK, Was it really that unusual for Pat Burrell to be sleeping on a table at 5:30 am 🙂

    • Kyle

      March 10, 2016 02:47 PM

      Yet for Burrell there was the fear it was an STD

  3. Tom

    March 10, 2016 02:21 PM

    So much for my theory that the lack of Howard ABs was because they were about to cut ties.

    • Dave Tomar

      March 10, 2016 05:56 PM

      Well Tom, Ruf is also crushing the ball at the moment so let’s not rule that out entirely either.

  4. Bamburger

    March 11, 2016 01:57 AM

    This Pete McKanin is really starting to grow on me. Hope the Phillied give him a real chance even after the team gets good.

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