Andrew Benintendi Is An Unvaxxed Yankee, But For How Long?

Andrew Benintendi doesn’t have a beard, so he won’t have to worry about shaving now that he’s a New York Yankee.

Something else he doesn’t have is the COVID jab, and, in today’s ridiculous MLB, that’s a bigger problem than some silly facial hair!

“Right now, you know, I’m still positioned in the same spot. I’m open-minded about it,” Benintendi told reporters before his Yankees debut. “I’m not against it, but time will tell as we get closer, but for now I’m just focused on getting here, getting comfortable, getting to know the guys and winning baseball games.”

Benintendi was traded to New York from Kansas City earlier this week, and is in the midst of one of his best offensive seasons in years.

Andrew Benintendi had an RBI single Friday against his old team. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)

He was also one of 10 Royals who couldn’t make the trip to Toronto earlier this month because he’s unvaccinated – something that’s punishable by death in Canada (OK, not really, but I’m probably not that far off).

Canada, as you know, still bans unvaccinated travelers from entering the country, despite overwhelming evidence that the vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission.

Rob Manfred and Major League Baseball has so far refused to step in and say enough is enough (shocking!), so, for now, the Blue Jays continue to get a ridiculous home field advantage.

The Royals are terrible and weren’t scheduled to play in Toronto again this season, so none of this would have been Benintendi’s problem.

However, the Yankees and Blue Jays are in the same division, New York goes to Toronto in September, and it’s certainly plausible that the teams could meet in the postseason.

“We’ll cross that bridge if and when we have to, but I have not had that conversation,” Yankees manager Aaron Boone said of Benintendi’s vaccination status.

HOUSTON, TEXAS – JULY 06: Andrew Benintendi #16 of the Kansas City Royals talks to Whit Merrifield #15 of the Kansas City Royals during the game against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park on July 06, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images)

Benintendi, who had an RBI single in Friday’s win, told reporters that he was not made to agree to get vaccinated before the trade.

If he thinks anything like his former unvaxxed Kansas City teammate Whit Merrifield, though, don’t be surprised if he ultimately bends the knee and gets the jab.

Remember, Merrifield angered the mob earlier this month by stating the obvious – that he would probably be more open to getting the shot if he were playing for a contender.

Well, the Yankees are the best team in baseball and will undoubtedly be playing deep into October, so Benintendi is now playing for a contender.

Whether he can cross the border remains to be seen.

Written by Zach Dean

Zach grew up in Florida, lives in Florida, and will never leave Florida ... for obvious reasons. He's a reigning fantasy football league champion, knows everything there is to know about NASCAR, and once passed out (briefly!) during a lap around Daytona. He swears they were going 200 mph even though they clearly were not.

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