In a somewhat shocking turn of events, it was confirmed on Tuesday that unvaccinated players won’t be able to play home games for the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.
Essentially, New York City’s COVID-19 mandates are being extended to MLB.
As MLB insider Joel Sherman noted, it’s “essentially the Kyrie Irving rule going outdoors for baseball.”
It could prove to be a complicated situation both for the organizations as a whole, and for the managers, as they would have to navigate with players being available for only half of the season.
Per Jon Heyman of MLB Network, “at last count (the) Yankees had 3 unvaccinated regular players. Mets had several unvaxxed last year and while they’ve made many alterations they still have a few. Unless something changes, greater depth is needed.”
At last count Yankees had 3 unvaccinated regular players. Mets had several unvaxxed last year and while they’ve made many alterations they still have a few. Unless something changes, greater depth is needed. https://t.co/FxQRXZ0GYf
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 15, 2022
Will The Players Be Willing To Vaccinate?
Fans hoping to watch Mets and Yankees’ games with all of their stars may not be able to do so, depending on the players’ decisions to complete their vaccination.
The New York ordinance doesn’t differentiate between indoor and outdoor work spaces, as Sherman explains in an article.
“Businesses may not allow any unvaccinated workers to work at their workplace. A workplace is considered any location — including a vehicle — where you work in the presence of at least one other person,” the rule says.
Just like the Chicago Cubs, the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Seattle Mariners, the Boston Red Sox, and the Kansas City Royals, the Mets were among the six teams that failed to reach the 85 percent threshold for vaccinations for relaxed protocols.
The Yankees released a statement saying that “on behalf of the New York Yankees, [team president] Randy Levine is working with city hall and all other appropriate officials on this matter. We will have no further comment.”