Phillies manager Joe Girardi won’t pressure his players to get 'the shot'


Major League Baseball is willing to relax some of the COVID-19 health and safety protocols that teams are subject to if 85 percent of players and staffers who travel with the team get vaccinated.

But Phillies manager Joe Girardi is not going to pressure any of his players or staffers to get the shot.

"I think it's a personal decision that I will not get involved in because it's a personal decision," Girardi said on Monday. "So whatever the player decides, I will back him no matter what."

Girardi, 56, has already received one vaccination shot and is awaiting his second.

At least one Phillies player is in no rush to get the shot.

"No," closer Hector Neris said Monday. "I don't want to get a shot. Not right now."

Neris was asked where his teammates stood on the issue.

"I don't know, I haven't talked to the guys," he said. "It's like, different opinions. Everybody is different. Can a guy maybe have the shot? I don't know. I haven't asked the other guys any questions about that."

Girardi said he has not canvassed the clubhouse to see if players were going to get vaccinated or not.

"I'm sure there's players that are hesitant and there's players that are probably eager to get it," he said.

The Phillies hosted the New York Mets on Monday night. The Mets' entire season-opening series in Washington was postponed because four Nationals players tested positive for COVID-19.

Mets management has recommended to its players that they get vaccinated, but a number of those players have publicly expressed reservations about doing so. On Tuesday, Mets management will hold a Zoom call with an outside medical expert for players seeking to become educated about COVID-19 vaccinations.


Girardi said there were no plans for the Phillies to have a similar seminar, but education and information is available for any player that wants it.

"I know that our trainers have talked to players and if the players have questions they are free to ask our trainers because they are pretty versed in the vaccinations," Girardi said.

As stated in the health and safety protocols, players are prohibited from eating at indoor restaurants, going to movie theaters and having guests in their hotel rooms. They must wear contact-tracing devices when at the ballpark and wear facemasks at team facilities, the exception being players during games on the field and in dugouts.

After receiving just 37 percent of their regular pay when last season was cut to 60 games because of COVID-19, players generally seem committed to following the protocols this season, even if they aren't willing to get vaccinated.

"It's a hard situation," Neris said. "It happened last year with the Marlins (suffering a COVID-19 outbreak). I don't want to think too much about that, just take care of myself, and the other guys, I think, are on the same page. Try to be responsible, respect your teammates and the game and that situation with the COVID-19. If you want the season to go on, you have to be responsible."

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