On Tuesday, it was revealed why the New York Yankees broadcast team on YES continues to be apart from one another.
Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Paul O’Neill is unvaccinated, which is the reason he continues to work from his home in Ohio while Michael Kay and David Cone take over the booth in the Bronx.
Initially, many thought this was a nonsensical cost-cutting measure by the organization. But then the Yankees said that O’Neill was remaining home due to “family issues.” Both untrue. According to Marchand, the YES Network required proof of vaccination for all employees by Jan. 1, 2022.
That’s allegedly the issue with O’Neill’s work situation, which leads us to believe the YES Network protocols are different than Major League Baseball’s. MLB allows unvaccinated employees to broadcast the game in the booth, but they cannot enter the clubhouse and would have to wear a mask when using any common areas.
But this isn’t even the biggest potential factor in O’Neill being unvaccinated. Now, the status of his number retirement ceremony in August could be affected in some way.
Once again, New York is seemingly faced with another Kyrie Irving situation, where the protocols become contradictory and confusing.
Yankees number retirement ceremony for Paul O’Neill in danger?
Regardless of which side of the argument you’re on when it comes to the COVID-19 vaccination, it’s patently absurd that Yankee Stadium allows thousands of unvaccinated fans to enter the stands as well as unvaccinated visiting players, but the bizarre restriction remains for the select few of those on the team/in the organization.
Fans nearly saw the season derailed before the private sector vaccine mandate was reversed for performers and athletes, but only held those in New York accountable and nobody else. Aaron Judge is believed to be one of a handful of unvaccinated Yankees players who were in danger of missing half of this year’s games.
Now, it seems O’Neill’s ceremony could be less grand than it would’ve been solely because he’s unvaccinated and regardless of the vaccination status of current players/others who might’ve been involved.
Yankees fans are hoping this is just speculation and/or whatever protocols currently in place to restrict or limit a gathering because of a single unvaccinated individual are lifted by the time August arrives.