The Philadelphia Phillies are the latest team to face the issue of traveling to Canada. With a two-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays, the Phillies will be without a few key players due to the country’s vaccination requirements.
The Phillies will put Realmuto, Bohm, Nola and Gibson on restricted list for Toronto. They forfeit pay and service time for two days. Other potential absences were mitigated through demotions to minors / injuries.
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 11, 2022
The New York Yankees recently went through a similar situation, and the Blue Jays making the postseason will definitely complicate things on this end.
But, the most significant part of this story is what catcher J.T. Realmuto said.
J.T. Realmuto said he consulted with doctors he knew and decided he did not need a COVID vaccine. He will forfeit close to $260,000. "I'm not going to let Canada tell me what I do and don't put in my body for a little bit of money," Realmuto said. "It's just not worth it."
— Matt Gelb (@MattGelb) July 12, 2022
Yes, Realmuto said that $260,000 is “a little bit of money.”
This is the epitome of professional athletes in today’s world. For some perspective, the minimum MLB salary in the 2022 season is $700,000, according to Baseball-Reference.
So, Realmuto is losing out on one-third of a minimum MLB salary. Moreover, the average US salary ranges from $49,000 to $78,000. From that point of view, Realmuto is losing out on nearly four times the maximum average salary in the US.
Yikes. Just big, big yikes.
Yet, for Realmuto, this is “a little bit of money.” Of course, Realmuto isn’t concerned, especially with his 2022 salary of over $20 million.
We haven’t even mentioned that he didn’t once discuss how it will affect his team, but the bigger picture is that the money isn’t worth it.
Nonetheless, regardless of how anybody feels about the vaccine, this is more of a flex by the Phillies’ backstop. For him, $260,000 is “a little bit of money.”