Mar 2, 2010, 2:20 PM EDT
Last fall, when postseason rosters were being finalized, the only real discussion in Boston was about a utility guy, with Nick Green, Jed Lowrie and Chris Woodward all in the mix. Green was hurt, and Terry Francona said that they needed to limit Lowrie as well. So you figured Chris Woodward — who was away from the team because of the birth of his son — would be the guy, what with guys usually only missing a day or too for paternity leave.
But Woodward didn’t make the cut and Lowrie did. The hardcore fans probably knew what was going on, but those of us who don’t spend all day thinking about the Sox didn’t give it a second thought. Today, however, the story of Chris Woodward and the postseason roster is one of the more interesting things going:
“It went so smoothly, everything was perfect,” Woodward said. “My
mother-in-law was at our house with our other two kids, Sophie and
Mason. I was going to be able to spend a day or two with them all and
go back for the playoffs.”
It stopped going smoothly the next
morning, went Erin’s mother called from the Woodward home. Two-year-old
Mason had a fever, running a temperature of 104 degrees.
home and took him to the pediatrician, who took tests and said it was
swine flu,” Woodward said. “They told me he couldn’t be near my wife or
the baby for two weeks. They told me we had to be careful with Mason,
and we all started taking Tamiflu that day.
And it only got worse after that as everyone in the family ended up getting the flu.
Not to diminish his talent too much, but the fact is that Woodward is a guy who could be in or out of the big leagues depending on some fifth level functionary’s mood on any given morning. I know we’d all say that we’d choose family over baseball if we were in his shoes, but the fact that he had the Red Sox calling him, asking whether he could make the postseason roster and was able to tell them “no, no, no, I have to stay home with my family,” despite the risk such a move posed to his baseball career says something pretty good about Woodward.