It was a tough day for the Kansas City Royals when it was announced that 10 of their players would not be able to play in a road series against the Toronto Blue Jays because they are unvaccinated, but the lowest moment probably came from one of The franchise’s clubhouse managers.
Twice All-Star Whit Merrifield was among the many players who explained their decision after the news broke, but he was the only one to suggest that the decision was conditional on playing for a candidate:
From Anne Rogers from MLB.com:
“Right or wrong, I did not do it on a whim. It’s been a long thought process. Because I understand what Canada has in place right now. That’s the only reason I would consider getting it at this point, is going to Canada.This may change along the way. Something happens and I happen to come across a team that has a chance to play in Canada in the off-season, maybe that changes. But as we sit here right now, I’m confident in my decision, my teammates support me, support the rest of the guys in here who have made that decision, and that’s it. “
Merrifield experienced a predictable amount of criticism for acknowledging the 35-53 Royals lack of competitiveness played a role in a decision that affects his health and the health of those around him. “He’s not a winning player. None of those scientists in baseball pants are,” was a comment from Sports Illustrated’s Stephanie Apstein.
Royal baseball operations president Dayton Moore told Apstein he believed Merrifield, currently hitting 240 / .292 / .343 with five homeruns, was not alone in not bothering with the vaccine as long as the Royals are in the AL Central basement.
A day later, Moore discussed the situation on the program with Søren Petro, saying he was “disgusted” when he heard Merrifield’s comments, but revealed that Merrifield had apologized for how he explained the decision:
“It’s sometimes very hard to articulate feelings and emotions. Sometimes it just comes out wrong. When I first heard it, I was very disappointed. Pretty disgusted, honestly. But I also know it’s not that, Whit And as I communicated with Whit about it, he made it very clear that he was sorry about how it came out. I have to accept it and move on. I’m not going to fire him when he is down because I know what Whit Merrifield has meant to our team, the great work he does in this community, and I just think it was a very bad word choice.
“He will learn from it, and we will all. It is unfortunate, but we have to try to move on from it. Whit will have the opportunity to discuss that statement at some point.”
Moore confirmed that Merrifield would be made available to discuss his statement after the All-Star break. He also expressed doubts that the player broke a series of 553 consecutive matches played with a phantom toe injury days earlier to avoid public control.
The Royals officially placed their 10 players, including many key states, on the restricted list on Thursday ahead of their first game in Toronto, where the team’s Twitter account discreetly scolded them in the process.
Funnily enough, the Royals then won their first match against the Blue Jays 3-1, despite having five Triple-A players and three Double-A players on their roster.