Chris Sale revealed he was one member of the Boston Red Sox who is unvaccinated against COVID-19, and with a report that Major League Baseball is cracking down on vaccinations come the postseason, many wondered what the team can do to limit time the unvaccinated players spend around the clubhouse.
The Red Sox are one of a few teams to not reach the 85% vaccination threshold required by MLB to ease COVID restrictions. And The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reported all non-playing personnel must be vaccinated for the postseason, or at least have their first shot before Oct. 4.
Should Sale be deemed a close contact down the stretch of what’s left of this season, he’d have to quarantine for a week because he is unvaccinated. That, of course, could put a potential Wild Card start in jeopardy.
So, is the team doing anything to avoid a potential disaster?
“We’ve been doing a lot of things here as far as that,” manager Alex Cora said over Zoom prior to the Red Sox’s game against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday afternoon. “(Head athletic trainer) Brad (Pearson) and the medical group have done an amazing job the last 15 days with that. Like I said, there’s a time to enjoy this but at the same time we have to be very careful. And it’s not only (Sale,) there’s others. People (who) are unvaccinated, we’re making sure they get their work in and they go home. I think we’ve done an amazing job as an organization the last 15 days to avoid something like that.”
As for the non-playing personnel, Cora said there are conversations being had.
“We’re having conversations about that,” Cora said. “Surprised but not surprised, to be honest with you. I’ve been hearing this for a while. Right now (chief baseball officer) Chaim (Bloom) and the group, they’re talking to everybody, going over the situations and we’ll make adjustments.”
The Red Sox have to make the postseason first, and they can continue to hold steady in first place in the Wild Card standings with a win over the O’s on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m. ET.