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The most recent Toronto Blue Jay Whit Merrifield received a COVID-19 vaccine and can now play in his team’s home games.
Canada does not allow unvaccinated people to enter the country, which prevented dozens of MLB players from playing against the Blue Jays at Toronto’s Rogers Center, including Merrifield in July.
The country’s vaccination mandates may or may not have played a role in who the Blue Jays sought to acquire when the trade expired. But it seemed Merrifield understood the possibility and wanted to play in his team’s biggest games as post-season approaches.
“For the past couple of weeks I’ve realized this could be a possibility. I’ll be in Toronto when the team goes there,” Merrifield said, via MLB.com.
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In July, Merrifield said he had thought a lot about vaccines and concluded he would not receive one. But she said she always kept an open mind, citing the big games in Canada.
“It’s what, based on experiences, conversations and what I’ve seen, this is the conclusion I came to,” Merrifield said at the time. “Right or wrong, I didn’t do it on a whim. It was a long process of thinking because, once again, I understand what Canada is up to right now. This is the only reason I would think of getting it to this point. To go to Canada.
“That may change along the way. If something happens and I happen to join a team that has the option of going to play Canada in the post-season, maybe that changes. But, since we’re sitting here right now, I I feel comfortable with my decision. My teammates support me and the rest of the guys in here who have made the same decision.
ROYALS PRESIDENT SAYS WITH MERRIFIELD “SORRY” FOR THE COMMENTS MADE WHEN EXPLAINING THE VACCINE DECISION
Merrifield was one of 10 royals who didn’t make a trip to Toronto for a four-game streak recently due to vaccination status.
Another of those players was Andrew Benintendi, who acquired the New York Yankees last week. Before making that trade, the Bronx Bombers were 100% vaccinated.
Benintendi said he remains “open-minded” about the vaccine. As of last week, Benintendi and manager Aaron Boone have not spoken about the situation.
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The Yankees could face the Blue Jays in the postseason and will travel to Toronto on September 26-28.