Friday, May 17, 2013

David Price's early season woes linked to laundry chemicals?



On Thursday, the Tampa Bay Rays placed struggling southpaw David Price on the disabled list after being diagnosed with a strained left triceps. The reigning American League Cy Young Award winner is off to an unusually poor start in 2013 as evidenced by his 1-4 record and 5.24 ERA, and that has many folks around the team very concerned.

Could irritating laundry chemicals used at Tropicana Field be the culprit?

On Tuesday, Price revealed that he has been battling a bad case of allergies this season, which have caused skin rashes and blurred vision, among other symptoms. An allergy test conducted Tuesday morning traced the problem to the new chemical ejection system in the washing machines used by the team.

Price said his woes began in early January when he started working out at Tropicana Field in preparation for the 2013 campaign. Those woes have continued up until now.

“That's why my neck was so bad. That's why my eyes are so bad, the back of my hands, because all the towels I use when I'm working out,” Price said. “I put a towel on my neck when I'm sitting on the bench, I have a towel for my face and my eyes.”

As a precautionary measure, the Rays are washing Price's uniform, workout clothes, and towels separately from the rest of the team to see if Price's symptoms subside.

“We want to isolate his clothes just in case it has something to do with the new ejection system,” Rays equipment manager Chris Westmoreland said.

Price said his allergies have been so bad that he sometimes has trouble seeing while pitching.

“There's definitely been many times this year I've had to step off the mound because I couldn't see the signs,” Price said. “All the trainers, they all knew that I couldn't see and that my vision was extremely blurry at the time. It (stinks).”

His skipper, Joe Maddon, who also has allergies, can relate.

“Just concentration-wise, it's not that easy,” Maddon said. “Literally, your head feels like a block of cement. … David doesn't make excuses. I would like to say that everyone around here doesn't make excuses, but I'm just saying there is contributing factors. … I'm telling you it's a bad day. The bounce is not the same bounce, because it's hard to get all that clear. It's intense.”

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