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Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Andrew Benintendi, Whit Merrifield among 10 unvaccinated Kansas City Royals players out for Toronto Blue Jays series

Ten Kansas City Royals players, including four of their top hitters and their best two starting pitchers this season, will not travel to Toronto this week for the four-game series with the Blue Jays because they have not received the COVID-19 vaccination.

The vaccine requirement for border crossing into Canada will affect outfielder Andrew Benintendi, super-utilityman Whit Merrifield, catcher MJ Melendez, first baseman/outfielder Hunter Dozier, right-hander Brad Keller, right-hander Brady Singer, center fielder Michael A. Taylor, outfielder Kyle Isbel, reliever Dylan Coleman and catcher Cam Gallagher.

Players who are unvaccinated and don’t make the trip to Toronto are placed on the restricted list and forfeit service time and salary for the four games missed. Prior to Kansas City, the most players a team had missed in Toronto was four, and 25 total players had hit the restricted list due to being unvaccinated.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2022 at 06:43 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals, vaccinations

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   1. The Duke Posted: July 13, 2022 at 06:56 PM (#6086572)
The biggest surprise to me is that Mike Matheny isn't on that list
   2. JRVJ Posted: July 13, 2022 at 07:10 PM (#6086573)
Kind of dumb for Benitendi and Merrifield, who in principle could be coveted by other teams, to not have gotten their shots.

At a minimum, AL teams looking to trade for pieces have to be looking at these Royals players as genuine complications.
   3. Brian C Posted: July 13, 2022 at 07:11 PM (#6086574)
10 seems like a lot, and you'd have to think it's a result of KC org culture to a large degree.
   4. bartap74 Posted: July 13, 2022 at 07:17 PM (#6086575)
That's a whole lot of selfish and/or stupid for one franchise. Got to figure they're leading the league. The Royals don't get to do that much these days.
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2022 at 07:49 PM (#6086580)

The biggest surprise to me is that Mike Matheny isn't on that list


Managers and coaches had to be vaccinated this season.


Kind of dumb for Benitendi and Merrifield, who in principle could be coveted by other teams, to not have gotten their shots.


Merrifield:

“I understand what Canada has in place right now. That’s the only reason that I would think about getting it at this point is to go to Canada,” Merrifield said. “That might change down the road. Something happens, and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.”


So he would get vaxxed for a contender, but the Royals suck too much to risk any adverse effects on.
   6. cardsfanboy Posted: July 13, 2022 at 07:51 PM (#6086582)
The biggest surprise to me is that Mike Matheny isn't on that list


I get that 5 answered it, but yes that was originally a surprise to me also.

10 seems like a lot, and you'd have to think it's a result of KC org culture to a large degree.


The first post pretty much pointed out the probable reason.
   7. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 13, 2022 at 08:00 PM (#6086585)
Well, Anne Rogers is reporting that some coaches aren't going - I thought they had to be vaxxed?
   8. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 13, 2022 at 08:41 PM (#6086590)
All these players are blaming Canada without acknowledging that the US requires it also of entry. It would serve these guys right if Canada decided to let them in, only to find that they couldn't return unless vaxxed. Then money would talk and BS walk.

Yes, I know that would never happen.
   9. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 13, 2022 at 08:42 PM (#6086591)
If IQ levels were correlated to baseball performance, it might explain the Royals' current state.
   10. Walt Davis Posted: July 13, 2022 at 09:54 PM (#6086606)
Does make one hope that the Jays go deep into the playoffs if for no other reason than the morbid curiosity of just how far some folks are willing to go.

the US requires it also of entry.

So does this mean that (nearly) all of the foreign citizen players are vaxxed?
   11. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: July 13, 2022 at 10:23 PM (#6086615)
So does the Royals Organization win the "We have the dumbest players" award for 2022? Don't they win it every year?
   12. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 13, 2022 at 10:37 PM (#6086620)
“I understand what Canada has in place right now. That’s the only reason that I would think about getting it at this point is to go to Canada,” Merrifield said. “That might change down the road. Something happens, and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.”



That Merrifield quote is pretty remarkable, and is such a white flag to the Royals' season. Also, if he gets the first shot tomorrow, I don't believe it would qualify him as "vaccinated". It is two weeks after your final shot that you are considered good to go for Canada. So if he gets traded to, say, the Yankees, Red Sox, or Tampa (all of whom have road trips to Toronto in September...and Tampa's is a five-game series!), he needs to get vaccinated soon enough to be able to go to Canada.

Also, he pretty clearly is not getting the shot at this point not based on some iron-clad principle...because he basically told everybody he would get it if the games mattered! What a knob.
   13. baxter Posted: July 13, 2022 at 10:38 PM (#6086621)
So Greinke is vaccinated, then?
With the Royals short of players, maybe he can bat also.

I'd like to see him pitch better, rooted for him ever since on Dodgers; interesting fella.
   14. Perry Posted: July 13, 2022 at 10:49 PM (#6086625)
This is really disappointing, although I'm a Cardinals fan I've always had a soft spot for the Royals, especially when during the first year of the pandemic when lots of teams were cutting staff and minor leaguers, they kept everyone on payroll. Dayton Moore at the time said:

“Understand this: The minor-league players, the players you’ll never know about, the players that never get out of rookie ball or High A, those players have as much impact on the growth of our game (as) 10-year or 15-year veteran players. They have as much opportunity to influence the growth of our game as those individuals who played for a long time because those individuals go back into their communities and teach the game, work in academies, are JUCO coaches, college coaches, scouts, coaches in pro baseball. They’re growing the game constantly because they’re so passionate about it. So we felt it was really, really important not to release one minor-league player during this time, a time we needed to stand behind them.”

So this is a drag to learn about.
   15. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 14, 2022 at 10:06 AM (#6086660)
Whit gave up his consecutive game streak for his political misbeliefs.
   16. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: July 14, 2022 at 10:31 AM (#6086667)
All these players are blaming Canada without acknowledging that the US requires it also of entry.
Not if the returning ballplayers waded across the Rio Grande instead.

By the way, where's the US Open thread?
   17. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: July 14, 2022 at 10:45 AM (#6086669)
Whit gave up his consecutive game streak for his political misbeliefs.


Maybe his parents named him Whit because they knew otherwise he was witless.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 10:54 AM (#6086671)
Heyman reports the Yankees are no longer interested in trading for Andrew Benintendi.
   19. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: July 14, 2022 at 11:07 AM (#6086673)
Heyman reports the Yankees are no longer interested in trading for Andrew Benintendi.
If I'm a Bleacher Creature, I'd prefer having Benintendi in the outfield than Gallo, regardless of those six regular season games and what *could* happen during the postseason. Play hardball with the Royals in the negotiations but ultimately Benintendi is a good fit for that outfield.
   20. JRVJ Posted: July 14, 2022 at 01:44 PM (#6086694)
18, we'll see if that remains the case, but it's pretty clear that trading for an unvaccinated player is a bit of a practical headache for AL East teams.
   21. Rally Posted: July 14, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6086698)
WAR, 2021 Royals pitchers: 4.2. Not going to Canada: 3.4

Position players: total 6.3. Not going to Canada: 4.2. Also not playing: Salvador Perez (injured) and Carlos Santana (traded).

Total WAR of Royals left on the roster: 1.4.

So mathematically, what you have left is Bobby Witt Jr plus a AAA team
   22. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 02:05 PM (#6086699)

So mathematically, what you have left is Bobby Witt Jr plus a AAA team


So...upgrade?
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2022 at 02:13 PM (#6086701)
By the way, where's the US Open thread?


The U.S. Open of what?
   24. cHiEf iMpaCt oFfiCEr JE Posted: July 14, 2022 at 02:46 PM (#6086704)
The U.S. Open of what?
We're looking forward to reading the latest enlightened commentary over the expected absence of Novak Djokovic and responses from the McEnroe brothers.
   25. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 04:10 PM (#6086728)

All these players are blaming Canada without acknowledging that the US requires it also of entry.

Do they check vaccination status when you drive back across the border? I remember being told that they didn't check for a negative test result (when the US was requiring negative tests when you flew back into the country), but I don't know if they check vax status.
   26. Nasty Nate Posted: July 14, 2022 at 04:14 PM (#6086730)
I just flew back from Canada and the US did not check vaccination status. But maybe they assumed I had to prove it in order to get into Canada in the first place.
   27. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 04:25 PM (#6086732)
I think you're fine if you're a U.S. resident. Visitors must be vaccinated.
   28. Ron J Posted: July 14, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6086733)
Canada has also just reinstated random testing (a certain number of lucky people on each flight get tested). Don't know if professional athletes are exempt. I know the NHL arranged something, but MLB might not have bothered.

I don't think US citizens have to prove vaccination status on reentry, but not all players are US citizens. And I don't think residency alone gets you out of the requirement to prove vaccination status.
   29. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6086739)
Yes, you're correct, US resident, non-citizens would still need to be vaccinated to re-enter.
   30. Howie Menckel Posted: July 14, 2022 at 05:16 PM (#6086742)
I remember flying Newark to Toronto pre-911, and I forgot my birth certificate (all you needed then).

Security guys at Newark said they had no problem with me leaving - but they couldn't vouch for the guys on the other side would do. I rolled the dice.

got to the airport in Toronto early when time for my return the next day, and explained the scenario. I forget how or why (though I definitely didn't sleep with anybody), but they let me pass pretty quickly. maybe being Continental Elite frequent flier helped.

kids, your world, pre 9-11. #goodolddays
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 05:26 PM (#6086743)
Pitching coach Cal Eldred did not make the trip, so I guess coaches aren't required to be vaxxed
   32. NaOH Posted: July 14, 2022 at 05:39 PM (#6086745)
Pitching coach Cal Eldred did not make the trip, so I guess coaches aren't required to be vaxxed


From the last time MLBTR posted about this in mid March, the requirements were actually wishy-washy. Emphasis added:

Major League Baseball is requiring all coaches to be up to date on their COVID-19 vaccinations in order to access restricted areas and to have in-person contact with players in Spring Training, reports Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic. Any staff member who hasn’t yet been fully vaccinated must at least receive one dose of the Pfizer/Moderna two-dose vaccines and have their second appointment scheduled. Those who are not fully vaccinated or elect not to get a booster shot once they become eligible would forfeit their field access unless granted an exemption by their team.
   33. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 14, 2022 at 06:09 PM (#6086750)
There must be an exemption for overseeing the worst pitching staff in baseball.
   34. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 14, 2022 at 08:01 PM (#6086756)
Royals pitching coach Cal Eldred, first-year assistant hitting coach Keoni De Renne and bullpen catcher/lead strategist Parker Morin are not with the club in Toronto, where they began a four-game series Thursday night against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

   35. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: July 14, 2022 at 08:23 PM (#6086760)
Pitching coach Cal Eldred did not make the trip, so I guess coaches aren't required to be vaxxed
well there's your problem. wasn't he a first baseman?
   36. Sweatpants Posted: July 14, 2022 at 08:32 PM (#6086761)
Cal Eldred was a right-handed starter in the mid-to-late '90s. You might be thinking of Brad Eldred.
   37. Walt Davis Posted: July 14, 2022 at 09:28 PM (#6086769)
Yes, you're correct, US resident, non-citizens would still need to be vaccinated to re-enter.

That's essentially what I was asking before ... does this mean that nearly all of the non-US players are vaxxed? Possibly not if they haven't left the US since covid started but I would assume most had gotten home at some point. For those tracking who's missed Toronto, how many foreign players are on the list?
   38. Howie Menckel Posted: July 14, 2022 at 09:30 PM (#6086770)

"Cal Eldred was a right-handed starter in the mid-to-late '90s. You might be thinking of Brad Eldred."

or Mildred, the housekeeper on "McMillan & Wife" with Rock Hudson and Susan St. James.
   39. Red Menace Posted: July 14, 2022 at 11:14 PM (#6086781)
Royals win 3-1
   40. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 15, 2022 at 12:34 AM (#6086782)

Royals win 3-1



So...upgrade?
   41. geonose Posted: July 15, 2022 at 12:49 AM (#6086783)
So far as I have heard, non-US citizen MLB players are generally all vaxxed because they must be to enter the country. Not sure what happens if they haven't left and tried to re-enter since the restriction went into place.

The only site I know of that is tracking those who have not been able to go to Toronto is here. All are US citizens.
   42. geonose Posted: July 15, 2022 at 04:16 AM (#6086785)
By way of clarification...Max Kepler was born in Germany, but his mother is from the US so he has US citizenship. Anthony Santander was born in Venezuela. Not sure of his citizenship status or how he was allowed to enter the US as a non-vaccinated foreign national, if he has indeed left and returned since the restriction was put into place.
   43. Snowboy Posted: July 15, 2022 at 11:05 AM (#6086806)
I'm just a snowbound fan who uses MLB.com's unreliable Transaction pages, but here is my unofficial tracking of players placed on the restricted list for not being vaccinated against covid, and thus unable to easily travel to Canada. @TOR
(R) restricted list for the series. (It is team choice whether or not to pay the player.)
(A) active list for the series (note that this does not always count as an official "option" Some players not on the 40 roster are placed on the active list, and play, and are sent down again, but it does not "start their clock" or count as official MLB time, if its to cover someone on the restricted list.)

TEX (08-10APR)- (R) nothing official
OAK (15-17APR)- (R) P-Kirby Snead, P-A.J. Puk, C-Austin Allen
OAK (15-17APR)- (A) P-Zach Logue, P-Ryan Castellani, C-Christian Bethancourt
BOS (25-28APR)- (R) P-Tanner Houck, P-Kutter Crawford
BOS (25-28APR)- (A) P-Tyler Danish, P-John Schreiber
HOU (29APR-01MAY) (R) nothing official
NYY (02-04MAY)- (R) nothing official
SEA (16-18MAY)- (R) P-Drew Steckenrider
SEA (16-18MAY)- (A) P-Roenis Elias
CIN (20-22MAY)- (R) P-Tyler Mahle, OF-Albert Almora Jr, P-Joel Kuhnel, IF-Brandon Drury
CIN (20-22MAY)- (A) P-Graham Ashcraft, IF-Taylor Motter, OF-Aristides Aquino, IF-Joey Votto
CWS (31MAY-02JUN)- (R) P-Kendall Graveman, P-Dylan Cease
CWS (31MAY-02JUN)- (A) P-Kyle Crick
MIN (02-05JUN)- (R) P-Caleb Thielbar, P-Trevor Megill, P-Emilio Pagan, OF-Max Kepler
MIN (02-05JUN)- (A) P-Chi Chi Gonzalez, P-Ian Hamilton, P-Jharel Cotton, OF-Mark Contreras
BAL (13-16JUN)- (R) P-Keegan Akin, OF-Anthony Santander
BAL (13-16JUN)- (A) P-Rico Garcia, OF-Kyle Stowers
NYY (17-19JUN)- nothing official
BOS (27-29JUN)- (R) P-Tanner Houck, IF-Jarren Duran
BOS (27-29JUN)- (A) P-Connor Seabold, IF-Yolmer Sanchez
TBR (30JUN-03JUL)- (R) P-Brooks Raley, P-Ryan Thompson
TBR (30JUN-03JUL)- (A) P-Phoenix Sanders, P-Ryan Yarbrough
PHI (12-13JUL)- (R) 3B-Alec Bohm, C-J.T. Realmuto, P-Aaron Nola, P-Kyle Gibson
PHI (12-13JUL)- (A) P-Nick Duron, C-Rafael Marchan, 3B-Will Toffey, P-Bubby Rossman
KCR (13-16JUL)- (R) OF-Michael A. Taylor, P-Brady Singer, OF-Andrew Benintendi, C-MJ Melendez, P-Dylan Coleman, OF-Kyle Isbel, C-Cam Gallagher, 1B-Hunter Dozier, 2B-Whit Merrifield, P-Brad Keller
KCR (13-16JUL)- (A)-SS Maikel Garcia, C-Freddy Fermin, 2B-Michael Massey, OF-Brewer Hicklen, C-Sebastian Rivero, 1B-Nick Pratto, OF-Nate Eaton, P-Angel Zerpa

(Plus there is also, unofficially, SEA (16-18MAY) P-Robbie Ray. Ray pitched on short rest, Sunday 15MAY, @PHI. He did not travel with the team @TOR and he may have officially, or unofficially, wrecked several celebrations for his reigning Cy Young self. He was not scheduled to pitch, but was not placed on the restricted list.)
(In contrast, PHI had SP Aaron Nola go on short rest 11JUL in advance of @TOR two game series. So he was unavailable, but PHI still placed him on restricted list.)

*****

Walt's q [37]: I don't know who is a foreign player on that list. Well, Joey Votto was born in Canada, but does he still hold a Canadian passport? I dunno. But he must be vaxxed if he was allowed to enter, and then leave again to US, without major quarantine. I said at the time that Votto was getting a transfusion of beaver blood to help combat covid when he returned to Canada for the series @Toronto. That was a joke...or was it?

Among players placed on the restricted list...
Kirby Snead OAK (15-17APR) sounds like he could be from New Zealand, but he's from FLA, and drafted out of Gainesville. Not vaxxed.
A.J. Puk OAK (15-17APR) sounds like he's from SE Asia, but he's from Iowa. And then drafted out of Gainesville. {Typo? No. Coincidence? Maybe?} Not vaxxed.
Albert Almora JR CIN (20-22MAY) certainly sounds like a Caribbean name, but he was born in America, went to a charter high school in Florida. Not vaxxed.
Kendall Graveman CWS (31MAY-02JUN) was born in Alabama, went to Mississippi State. Officially that's still the USA {ducks} and to Canadians that's pretty damn foreign, so he needed to be vaxxed. Chose not to.
Emilio Pagan MIN (02-05JUN) sounds like a Cuban, but he's from South Carolina. And not vaxxed.
Maximilian Kepler MIN (02-05JUN) may be our first foreign winner! Was born in Germany, went to high school there. He's not vaxxed, so probably hasn't left USA since 2021. (Or might be a US citizen by now?)
Keegan Akin BAL (13-16JUN) sounds like an American (and is, yes, from Michigan) and was unvaxxed. I only mention him because he was replaced by Rico Garcia, who must be vaxxed because he got the call, and might sound foreign but is from Hawaii.
Anthony Santander BAL (13-16JUN) is from Venezuela, and was not vaxxed. He also must not have left and tried to re-enter USA since 2021?
Jarren Duran BOS (27-29JUN) is a white boy from Long Beach CA, not vaxxed.
MJ Melendez KCR (13-16JUL) was born in Daytona Beach and drafted out of Westminster Christian School (Miami, FL), not vaxxed.
Whit Merrifield KCR (13-16JUL) sounds foreign (Dutch? Belgian?) but he's from South Carolina, not vaxxed.

(I just spot-checked names that sounded foreign? So if I missed a foreigner, I apologize. Like Austin Allen OAK (15-17APR) do I need to check him? He sounds American enough to me? But okay quick check says he went to high school in Missouri, drafted out of Florida Institute of Technology. And Brady Singer, sorry if he actually identifies himself as being from the People's Front of Judea, but...wait, no, he's also drafted out of University of Florida in Gainesville. And so on, most of these restricted players, they're American.)

Among the callups to cover anti-vaxxers...
Cristian Bethancourt OAK (15-17APR) was born in Panama, he was invited to play as a replacement player, so he must be vaxxed.
Tyler Danish BOS (25-28APR) certainly looks Danish, sounds Danish, but is not in this life from Denmark. But he must be vaxxed, he was allowed into Canada in place of someone who was not.
Roenis Elias SEA (16-18MAY) was born in Cuba and called up to cover someone who is unvaxxed, so he must be vaxxed to cross both borders.
Graham Ashcraft CIN (20-22MAY) sounds like he might be an Aussie, but he's from Alablama, and must be vaxxed as he was called up to cover someone who was not.
Yolmer Sanchez BOS (27-29JUN) was born in Venezuela, but is he still Venezuelan, or is he now a US resident? I dunno. Probably vaxxed, as he was added as a replacement.
Other foreign-born players on the call-up list, we can assume they are vaxxed.
All American-born players on the call-up list, we can assume are vaxxed.
   44. Doug Jones threw harder than me Posted: July 15, 2022 at 11:16 AM (#6086811)
“I understand what Canada has in place right now. That’s the only reason that I would think about getting it at this point is to go to Canada,” Merrifield said. “That might change down the road. Something happens, and I happen to get on a team that has a chance to go play in Canada in the postseason, maybe that changes.”


I still cannot get over what kind of horsepucky this statement is. The levels of stupidity, entitlement and self-centeredness are off the charts, not to mention completely disrespecting his teammates and organization. This for a 33-year-old player hitting .240 whose value is almost entirely encapsulated in his batting average and speed, and who has been treated very well by the Royals over the years.
   45. Lassus Posted: July 15, 2022 at 11:41 AM (#6086813)
We're looking forward to reading the latest enlightened commentary over the expected absence of Novak Djokovic and responses from the McEnroe brothers trolling.
   46. Zach Posted: July 15, 2022 at 01:38 PM (#6086824)
So...upgrade?

The appeal of the Royals' minor leaguers compared to the major leaguers this year is off the charts.
   47. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 15, 2022 at 04:38 PM (#6086842)
If I'm a Bleacher Creature, I'd prefer having Benintendi in the outfield than Gallo, regardless of those six regular season games and what *could* happen during the postseason. Play hardball with the Royals in the negotiations but ultimately Benintendi is a good fit for that outfield.

God, yes. AFAIC anti-vaxxers are a bunch of morons, but by the time the Yankees next visit Toronto, the division will have been long since clinched, and they'd have Benintendi instead of Gallo for all the other games. That's both addition by addition and addition by subtraction, a total win-win.

   48. Hombre Brotani Posted: July 15, 2022 at 05:41 PM (#6086845)
I still cannot get over what kind of horsepucky this statement is. The levels of stupidity, entitlement and self-centeredness are off the charts, not to mention completely disrespecting his teammates and organization.
Hey, that's "rational self-interest" to you, buddy!
   49. 57i66135 is a hard word for me. Posted: July 15, 2022 at 10:22 PM (#6086866)
Cal Eldred was a right-handed starter in the mid-to-late '90s. You might be thinking of Brad Eldred.
why yes, i did play DMB in the mid-00s.
Hey, that's "rational self-interest" to you, buddy!
and now this
   50. Hank Gillette Posted: July 16, 2022 at 01:45 AM (#6086901)
So he would get vaxxed for a contender, but the Royals suck too much to risk any adverse effects on.
COVID has worse side-effects than any of the vaccines.

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