ROCKIES

Nolan Arenado’s vaccine decision is another selfish moment for the star

Jul 25, 2022, 11:00 AM

Earlier this month, National League MVP candidate Nolan Arenado called out his St. Louis Cardinals organization for not giving him enough help to win.

Arenado criticizing the front office he plays for is a tale as old as his 10-year-career. In his second season playing under the arch, Arenado made a habit of doing the same thing in Colorado. While it was more justified with the Rockies, he still was very public in saying that he was “crossed” and “disrespected”  by former General Manager Jeff Bridich.

And in truth, Arenado just wants to win. So, of course, he wants the team he plays for to more actively add pieces to help him accomplish that goal. It’s one of the main reasons Arenado forced his way out of Colorado and headed down the Missouri river system.

“There’s some things we need,” Arenado told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch earlier this month. “It feels good when you add. We’re not out of it. We’re in it. I think that’s what is most important. We’re still in this thing. There’s no reason why we can’t take a big step forward in the second half.

“A few pieces here or there definitely go a long way, you know?”

Arenado sang a similar tune when the Rockies pushed for back-to-back playoff appearances in 2017 and 2018. When things started falling apart in 2019, Arenado wanted the Rockies to add to their roster.

Arenado and Rockies fans never quite got what they needed as Colorado tossed away a tremendous young core without ever winning a playoff series. In 2018, Dick Monfort’s cheapness cost Colorado their first-ever NL West title.

But Arenado should know as well as anyone that all 162 games matter, as that 2018 season was decided by a tie-breaking Game 163. Now at 51-46, 2.5 games back of first in the NL Central and holding down the last wildcard playoff spot, the Cardinals head to Toronto this week to face the 53-43 Blue Jays.

The Redbirds will be without both Arenado and his biggest help, fellow MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt against the playoff-bound Bluebirds. The two All-Stars are sitting out a pair of games due to Canada’s COVID-19 vaccination rules, which require a person to have received a second COVID-19 vaccine dose — or one dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine — at least 14 days before entry into the country.

Arenado will lose $384,416 and Goldschmidt $241,758 for not taking the trip north of the border. But more importantly to the Cardinals, they’re at risk of losing games without their two best players due to each’s selfishness in not getting a scientifically proven safe COVID-19 vaccination.

“It’s just a personal choice, and I’m not trying to do a political stand here or be a spokesperson for this or that,” Arenado told MLB.com. “I’m just choosing to do what’s best for me and my family, and I mean no harm. But it’s unfortunate that I’ve got to miss two games.”

Arenado starts by saying I, and his explanation is based on himself and himself alone. While there’s an entirely different conversation to be had here about the star third baseman’s selfishness in this medical decision, putting his family and teammates at risk of catching a deadly virus, let’s focus on baseball. In his quote, there’s a whole lot of I, me and not anything about his team there. The same team whose front office he just called out, begging to add better players around him.

So which is it, Sandblaster? Does your team need the help or not, because nobody can help the Cards win this week as you could. You’ve already said you would consider getting the vaccine for a World Series matchup, but one game clear of not playing in October at all, your season could come down to this week.

I’m all for players caring and wanting to win; hats off to those who do. But you can’t say that you’re doing everything you can to win when you’re sitting out two key games over a simple medical procedure over 220 million Americans have undergone.

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