Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge were two of the most notable unvaccinated players in MLB over the past year. Rizzo has been much more vocal about his vaccination status, saying his reason for not taking the COVID vaccine is that he’s “taking a little more time to see the data.” Prior to the season, when the New York vaccination mandate was still in effect, Judge declined to disclose his vaccination status, meaning there was about a 99 percent chance he was unvaccinated at the time. No one who is vaccinated hides this information, because for most well-adjusted people it’s no big deal.
The NYC mandate has since been lifted, meaning Toronto is the only city where MLB players must be vaccinated in order to play. On Monday, the Yankees played their first of nine games north of the border. a 9-1 against the Blue Jays. Judge – who was homer again – and Rizzo both played and confirmed they were both vaccinated.
My question is why was this the breaking point? Why wasn’t it worth getting vaccinated to prevent possible illness and death in yourself and others, but to play just over 5 percent of the MLB season?
After all, it’s only nine games. Richter, the man who wants to get paid like the best player in the game, is likely to miss more than that on scheduled rest days or phantom injuries like a tight stomach or maybe a pinky toe strain if the training staff is feeling creative.
I’m particularly excited to see what “data” Rizzo has seen since last season that led him to get the shot considering it’s just as safe and effective today as it was then. Maybe he’s one of those “doing his own research” and finally getting the results of the double-blind study he’s conducting in his spare time. To be perfectly clear, I am thrilled that they have been vaccinated. It’s just amazing that that was their criteria for deciding to get it. I guess what “morals” they thought they represented wasn’t that important after all.
While still a member of the Cubs, Rizzo also said of his decision to remain unvaccinated, “It’s not an easy decision, but I think it’s the right decision for me and my family right now.” This is essentially a rephrasing of “it’s a personal choice” which is the answer for unvaccinated people which is just annoying. True, literally every decision you make is a “personal choice,” but what people want to know is why you made that personal choice. The decision to get vaccinated is arguably one of the least ‘personal’ decisions one can make since it affects so many others. Almost a year and a half since the vaccines were made available, I still have not heard from anyone with a coherent response to this follow-up. If you pressured someone like that, the only answer they could come up with would probably be, “I’m a paranoid jerk, and when I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing I feel like a real tough guy.”
If you’re in the small but oh-so-loud minority who comment on shit like “don’t get poisoned” and “hold the line” beneath videos of unvaccinated players dodging questions about the vaccine, and who thinks of unvaccinated athletes than Martyrs maybe it’s time to consider that whatever cause you think you’re fighting for is utterly stupid if you’re willing to give it up to play 9 games in Toronto.