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Why Chris Woodward didn't make the Red Sox' postseason roster

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.

“I drove
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.

  1. YX - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:32 PM

    Swine flu sucks, and that’s a fact.
    I got it from my boss around that time and it knocked me out cold for a solid week.

  2. Rays fan - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    Thanks for a story about a genuine hero.

  3. IdahoMariner - Mar 2, 2010 at 2:59 PM

    this is the best kind of spring training story — because he could easily have succumbed to the temptation of “how many chances at the postseason do you get?” but held to the “how could I live with myself if something happened to my family?” reality. We, all of us, sometimes forget that there are more important things than post-season glory.

  4. Simon DelMonte - Mar 2, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    While Mr. Woodward gets all the credit in the world for being a good parent, I can’t imagine that anyone at Fenway was in a rush to invite someone exposed to H1N1 to spend any time in the clubhouse.
    Though knowing how things have been, the only player to get infected would have been Jason Bay, who would have somehow managed to be contagious only after arriving at Mets camp.

  5. Darryl - Mar 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM

    Met Chris Woodward a couple of Springs ago when he was a NRI with the Yankees. Great guy. Hope he hooks on somewhere.

  6. D-Luxxx - Mar 2, 2010 at 5:32 PM

    I agree. It’s nice to say he did the right thing, but I’m sure once they were aware of the situation, they probably told him to stay home. No need to expose the entire team to H1N1. Not saying he isn’t a stand-up guy and all, but I’d be very suprised if the team had offered to let him come along for the ride after hearing the circumstances.

  7. Eli - Mar 2, 2010 at 10:28 PM

    Theo: You’re going to be ready for the playoffs in a few days right?
    Woodward: Yup, as soon as my kid gets better, he’s got swine flu.
    Theo: Uh, we’ll give you a full playoff share if you just promise to stay the fack away from the team.

  8. brandon - Mar 3, 2010 at 4:38 AM

    Woodward actually has hooked on with a team, he is back with the Seattle Mariners.

  9. Jonny5 - Mar 3, 2010 at 10:45 AM

    He was told to stay home. They were in the playoffs, can you imagine a few key guys getting swine flu? I believe the same thing happened to Greg Dobbs in the post season as well. http://www.philly.com/inquirer/sports/20091030_Phillies_Notes__Flu_keeps_Dobbs_out_of_the_lineup_-_and_the_ballpark.html

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