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Wade Boggs tests negative for coronavirus, clarifies Chris Sale comment

Hall-of-Famer reiterates that he was only joking about catching illness from Red Sox ace, who had been sick himself.
Former Tampa Bay Rays player Wade Boggs blows a kiss to fans before throwing the first pitch before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Aug. 25, 2018.
Former Tampa Bay Rays player Wade Boggs blows a kiss to fans before throwing the first pitch before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on Aug. 25, 2018. [ Times (2018) ]
Published Apr. 21, 2020

TAMPA — Hall of Famer Wade Boggs got what he considered good news this week, a test confirming the illness he had in March was not related to the coronavirus.

Boggs said an antibodies test administered by an independent doctor in Tampa was negative, meaning pneumonia was apparently the sole cause of the three to four days in March that the 61-year-old was wiped out by high fever, cough and other symptoms.

Boggs also wanted to clarify comments made to the Tampa Bay Times last week when he joked that if had been infected with coronavirus he may have caught it from Boston pitcher Chris Sale, since they both attended a Red Sox event in late February in Fort Myers.

Related: Wade Boggs wonders if he had coronavirus

“I could have gotten it from anybody at the event. I was joking because Chris Sale had been extremely sick, and I was saying, ‘Hey, maybe he’s the one who gave me the virus,'” Boggs said Tuesday. “Evidently the humor was lost in the context of the article.”

Sale attended the event after missing the mid-February start of spring training due to a tough bout of what the Red Sox said was pneumonia, and Boggs got sick the following week.

Sale, who later underwent Tommy John elbow surgery, told reporters in early April “it definitely crossed my mind" that he may have been infected with coronavirus given how sick he was. He discounted the possibility since none of his family or teammates he was in contact with became sick, but said he was looking forward to an antibodies test to find out for sure.

Related: What it’s like taking the COVID-19 antibodies test in MLB program

“If I offended Chris Sale or Chris Sale’s agent or Chris Sale’s fans, I was not blaming anybody,” Boggs said. “I made an off-the-cuff statement that, ‘Hey, Chris Sale was there, he was sick, maybe I got it from him.’ I knew I didn’t get it from him because he was well at the time that I met him.”

Boggs, who grew up in Tampa, spent the bulk of his career with the Red Sox, played five seasons and won a World Series with the Yankees and finished his career with the hometown Devil Rays. (Fox Sports Sun on Wednesday is re-airing the Aug. 7, 1999, game when he got his milestone 3,000th career hit, showing it at noon, 7 p.m. and midnight.)

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