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Red Sox have started internal COVID-19 vaccine conversations
Providence Journal - 4/6/2021
BOSTON --- Former Red Sox left-hander Jon Lester is among those caught up in the COVID-19 outbreak among the Nationals.
Washington finally opened its 2021 season on Tuesday, and it did so with nine players on the injured list. The Nationals were without Lester and eight others, but did not specify a reason for their respective absences.
Major League Baseball, respecting individual privacy, declined to mandate disclosure by clubs regarding positive tests and contact tracing. But it was generally understood in 2020 that players who were suddenly unavailable or off the 26-man roster were sidelined due to COVID-19. Teams don’t hesitate to list pitchers or position players as unavailable due to quadriceps tightness or a sore left wrist, for example.
“We’re fighting against something that’s invisible,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “We have no idea the way it moves, who has it, who doesn’t, who they were around, are their families being responsible. There are a lot of moving parts.”
Boston placed eight members of its organization into contact tracing late in spring training after Matt Barnes registered what was ultimately ruled a non-infectious positive test result. Cora confirmed Barnes had tested positive and Matt Andriese was in contact tracing – he was scratched from that afternoon’s scheduled Grapefruit League start against the Pirates. The manager declined to identify players, coaching staff or front office members who might have been affected otherwise.
“I felt guilty when the whole Barnes situation happened,” Cora said. “You’re the one running camp. You’re the one sending the message.
“Did you miss something? Did they not respect what you were saying? I don’t know. You just feel guilty.”
Cora confirmed he would be vaccinated at the first possible opportunity. There has been talk of relaxing club protocols across baseball if up to 85% of a franchise’s travel party agrees to be inoculated against the virus. Cora said the Red Sox have begun internal conversations about how they will approach players and other members of the organization.
“Obviously that’s something the individual has to decide he wants to do,” Cora said. “We’ll talk about it. We’ll bring people to explain to them the effects or the aftereffects or the lack of effects from the vaccine.
“At the end the player, the individual, the coach, whoever is in the organization – they decide if they want to do it. From my end, I’m all for it. Whenever I get a chance to do it, I’ll do it.”
On Twitter: @BillKoch25
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Red Sox have started internal COVID-19 vaccine conversations
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