Unvaccinated Paul O’Neill Had To Stay Away From Yankees Players During Number Retirement

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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.

Paul O’Neill was a legend during his tenure with the Yankees. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

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.


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!

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?

Makes sense.

Head on a swivel, Cosmo!



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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