KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Royals captain Whit Merrifield has had a very interesting All-Star break.
After Merrifield and nine other Royals missed the team’s last series vs. the Toronto Blue Jays before the break because they were not vaccinated against COVID-19, Merrifield explained his reason behind his stance on Cody & Gold on 610 Sports Radio last Friday.
In the segment, he said he doesn’t enjoy putting foreign things into his body, not even Advil or Tylenol. He also said making the postseason is the only factor that would sway him to get the vaccine but that might not happen if he is a Royal.
A week later, he apologized for not being clear about his intentions.
“I’m sorry I poorly articulated the point i was trying to make,” Merrifield said on Friday before the series opener vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.
“It’s not a comfortable topic and I started rambling on and trying to make a point about my passion for winning that had no relevance to the topic that was being discussed and for that I am truly sorry.”
“I do love Kansas City I’ve loved every day I have here. Every time I’ve got to share the locker room with this team. And, you know, that hasn’t changed and won’t change.”
Merrifield said he spent a lot of time away from his phone after making those comments. He also said he spoke with the Royals front office and there is no issue there or in the locker room.
“People that I know and care about know me and understand me.”
Merrifield also clarified his point about making the playoffs.
“The point I was trying to make, and that was, if what was standing between me and the playoffs was this vaccine, I would consider getting it. I didn’t say I would get it for no team or wouldn’t get it for this team. It was simply a point about showing how much I value playing in the playoffs. And again, it was not the time or place to say something like that. But you know, when you’re talking about something uncomfortable, sometimes you just ramble and things come out. And I wish I could have stopped it at the time and corrected it. But unfortunately, I didn’t realize really what I said and took me reading it to understand how it can come across.”
“You do feel that way though. Look, I’ve wanted to play in the playoffs for since the time I put on cleats. That That feeling is is strong. I know this, the vaccine thing… people have very strong feelings about it. You know, I feel the way I feel but I have very strong feelings about other things as well and sometimes makes you makes you weigh stuff. That’s all.”
Merrifield has been nursing a toe injury that ended his ironman streak of playing in 553 consecutive games but played on Friday. He said he’s ready to get back on the field and put all of this behind him.
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