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New York Yankees legend Paul O’Neill became the 23rd person in franchise history to have his number retired in a Sunday afternoon ceremony at Yankee Stadium.
It was a nice celebration, in front of a packed house, that ended with an epic salute to the famous Bleacher Creachers as O’Neill ended his speech.
A good day, right?
A silly one, too.
O’Neill, an analyst for the YES Network, hasn’t been around the stadium much – if at all – this season because he’s unvaccinated.
The 59-year-old has been calling games remotely from his Ohio home since the 2020 pandemic-shortened season, and still isn’t allowed back in the booth because of the network’s absurd mandate.
That’s not all, though.
O’Neill wasn’t even allowed to be near a current Yankees player during Sunday’s ceremony. Unvaccinated personnel are barred from interaction with any players in the dugout and clubhouse.
So, because O’Neill didn’t get the jab, he couldn’t be around Aaron Judge. He could just yell to him – from a safe distance, of course – at the end of his speech.
O’Neill, who was a monster in New York during his nine seasons, is clearly annoyed by the nonsense.
Paul O'Neill made sure to shoutout the Bleacher Creatures before he finished his speech, and he asked Aaron Judge "does it get any better?" pic.twitter.com/XeqyMRUyJU
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) August 21, 2022
He was asked twice about the COVID policy in a pre-ceremony interview, and punted both times.
“I’d rather not discuss that,” O’Neill told NJ.com baseball columnist Bob Klapisch, who then asked about working remotely. “Klap, I really don’t want to go there.”
O’Neill took the high road, but, personally, I would have preferred seeing this version of the man Georgie Steinbrenner dubbed “The Warrior.”
It’s absurd that O’Neill couldn’t be around any active player during Sunday’s ceremony, but, as we’ve learned, COVID lunacy has no ceiling.
The CDC even bent the knee earlier this month, admitting that there is no difference between vaccinated and unvaccinated people!
It took well over a year of scientific evidence and data to confirm what most of us knew last summer, but hey, credit where credit is due!
The CDC has now ended all different treatments for vaccinated and unvaccinated people. So why in the world isn’t everyone who refused the covid shot being rehired with back pay? pic.twitter.com/2CLDCGr68B
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) August 11, 2022
Yet, despite pretty much all ridiculous COVID policies being lifted, O’Neill still can’t go to work or dare be around any active Yankee.
Last I checked, Andrew Benintendi was still unvaccinated – at least he was when the team traded for his a few weeks ago – but he’s around the team.
But an unvaccinated groundskeeper can’t be?
Head on a swivel, Cosmo!