COVID had hit the Oakland A’s family hard during the pandemic. Long time minor league coach Webster Garrison spent weeks in a hospital on a ventilator, fighting for his life. The legendary Dave Stewart contracted COVID as well, although he was able to avoid hospitalization for his condition. Former minor leaguer Miguel Marte was not so fortunate, passing away after his bout with the virus.
Considering how close the pandemic had hit, one would have expected that the A’s would have been quick to become vaccinated. While that was not necessarily the case, they did hit the 85% vaccination rate on Wednesday.
Oakland A’s finally hit vaccination threshold
By reaching that 85% mark, the A’s have gained some perks. They no longer need to wear masks in the dugout, removing a possible irritant. Those restrictions after the games and other protocols are also going to be loosened, allowing the players and coaches a lot more freedom.
More from White Cleat Beat
- Zach Logue yet another disappointing Oakland A’s trade return
- Luis Barrera heading to familiar foe in Los Angeles Angels
- Looking back at Ruben Sierra with the Oakland A’s
- San Francisco Giants showing Oakland A’s offseason could be worse
- Lucas Luetge what Oakland A’s need in bullpen
It remains to be seen how much of a difference that vaccination rate will make for the A’s. They are already atop the AL West, battling the Astros for divisional supremacy. The A’s have also been focused on building clubhouse chemistry, making certain that the team in the locker room feels like family.
Having those restrictions loosened will only help. Those bonding excursions and visits to the locker room will start to come back. The players will be able to hang out in different places after the game, no longer restricted to the locker room or the team hotel. It will be a literal breath of fresh air.
This is not something that will necessarily show up on the diamond. There may not be any statistical advantages to reaching that vaccination threshold. But it could make a difference if another team has an outbreak, as the Mariners and Nationals did earlier this season. The Yankees also had a breakout, but due to being vaccinated, it was relatively minor. That is what the A’s can look forward to as the advantage of reaching that threshold.
The Oakland A’s have finally hit the 85% vaccination threshold. Considering how the virus has affected the A’s family, it is a surprise it took this long.