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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