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#pounditWednesday, April 24, 2024

Report: Paul O’Neill broadcasting Yankees games from home due to vaccine mandate

Paul O'Neill smiles during batting practice

Paul O’Neill made his season debut with the YES Network during Monday night’s game between the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays, but he appeared on the broadcast from his home in Ohio. Fans were told the former slugger had “family issues,” but apparently that was not the real story.

O’Neill has not been in the broadcast booth at Yankee Stadium because he is not vaccinated. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post obtained documents that YES sent to employees which stated that network personnel were required to have proof of COVID-19 vaccination by Jan. 1. There is an exception in the policy for “medical condition or a sincerely held religious belief or practice.”

O’Neill would be permitted to work games from the broadcast booth under Major League Baseball’s current rules. He would be restricted from entering certain areas like the clubhouse and interview room. O’Neill also would not be allowed on the field for batting practice.

It would seem MLB’s rules do not matter in this instance, as YES has their own requirements. O’Neill is scheduled to call the next three games of the Blue Jays-Yankees series, but he told the Post that this is the only series in April he was slated to work due to the lockout. He will not have another game with YES until May, so it is unclear if he and the network will work out a solution by then.

We have seen similar situations unfold with other former players/analysts due to vaccination status.

O’Neill, 59, played for the Yankees from 1995-2001. He won four World Series with the team and another with the Cincinnati Reds in 1990.

Photo: March 15, 2013; Tampa, FL, USA New York Yankees former player Paul O’Neill prior to the game against the Miami Marlins at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

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