The off day after the home opener is mostly a nuisance for fans who would rather have their first blast of baseball followed by by more baseball, but the White Sox made the best possible use of it.
The team announced that it knocked out vaccinations for more than 90 percent of its traveling party following Thursday’s victory over the Royals, which allowed them to use Friday to recover from any of the side effects. They still haven’t reached the 85 percent threshold across the organization needed to relax certain health and safety protocols, but Rick Hahn made it sound like it’s a matter of logistics, not reluctance.
“At this point, we have not yet been able to offer vaccines to all of our players and staff at Schaumburg,” Hahn said. “We were able to get a good number of them but not all of them. As a result, we are not yet as an organization over the 85% number. However, as I mentioned, we are well over 90% of the traveling party, that group that is in Chicago with us currently, and that group that will head on out to Boston and Cleveland later this week.”
I’d been wondering if we’d get an update on this front, although opening the season on the West Coast for seven straight games was the primary factor in the lack of news. It’s great to see the White Sox addressing it efficiently and enthusiastically upon their return home, given that the Cubs have spent their first week in Chicago debating the idea of vaccinations, even while their first-base coach contracted the virus.
Beyond the sad crosstown bragging rights, James Fegan described one of the key benefits of a teamwide buy-in — fewer teamwide dominoes should a case hit close to home.
“One of the strong benefits of the participation (in) the vaccination program is that when my phone rings and it’s (trainer) James Kruk on the other end, it’s more likely to be an actual baseball injury than it is something COVID related,” Hahn said. “If you are not vaccinated and you’re ruled to be a close contact to someone who contracts the disease, regardless of your positive or negative test, you’re down for seven-to-10 days, no matter what. If you have been vaccinated, you cannot be classified, at that point, as a close contact.”
At least Cubs prospects are apparently far more eager to get the vaccine in Arizona. Hahn said the Sox are working on a similar arrangement for their prospects and minor league staff at Camelback Ranch.
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When the White Sox announced their roster and schedule for the alternate training site in Schaumburg, they couldn’t yet announce whether Wintrust Field would be able to host fans for any of the games against the Cubs’ alternate squad, who would be traveling across Chicagoland from South Bend, Ind.
The Sox tied up that loose end this morning, announcing that Major League Baseball and the Village of Schaumburg permitted the hosting of 20.7 percent of the park’s main seating bowl. Tickets will cost $10 plus fees when they go on sale on Tuesday at 10 a.m. at wintrustfield.com and boomersbaseball.com, for the following dates:
- Saturday, April 24th at 1:00pm
- Wednesday, April 28th at 1:00pm
- Friday, April 30th at 12:00pm
James Kruk has to be the happiest and most relieved member of the organization about this news. I cannot imagine how stressful being the head trainer must have been over the past twelve months.
Not being familiar with the current training staff, I originally read that as “[John] Kruk” and nearly did a spittake at the idea of someone taking training advice from him.
Yesterday evening my college-age daughter called home and while chit-chatting mentioned that there is a battle of memes about the different vaccines. She said some people on TikTok have made the claim that only hot people get the Pfizer vaccine. My son replied that he wanted to put out a picture of me holding my vaccine card showing I got a Pfizer vaccine so he can fulfill his dream of single-handedly killing a meme.
Based on the crowd at the United Center when I got vaccinated, I can definitively say that it isn’t only hot people getting Pfizer.
That’s interesting that Cubs minor leaguers seem much more enthusiastic about the vaccine than the big leaguers. You might think the younger players would feel more invincible or be less likely to have families whom they have to protect by getting vaccinated. Maybe their economic precarity makes them feel more vulnerable.
Sogard’s wife doesn’t seem to understand the idea of a pod and limiting contacts. Does she propose an alternative where her hypothetically unvaccinated husband not be allowed to interact with teammates at all—that is, not allowed to play baseball?
it’s not like the Cubs’ team leader is a cancer survivor or anything
hey wait a minute…
and their bullpen coach now tested positive and a few other bullpen guys are coincidentally going on the 10 day list all at the same time (but not the COVID list, couldn’t possibly be COVID related, sure thing guys)
Man, I feel bad for the guy at the NSA who drew the short stick and now has to keep tabs on Tony LaRussa’s thought-monitoring microchip.