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Mets' mandate requires most employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19

A COVID-19 vaccine card.

A COVID-19 vaccine card. Credit: O.A. Jimenez

As cases of COVID-19 surged again in recent weeks, the Mets began requiring that many employees be vaccinated against the disease, according to two people familiar with the matter.

That mandate includes most full-time and part-time employees based in the administrative offices at Citi Field and other areas of the ballpark, as well those who work for Steve Cohen-owned minor-league teams: Triple-A Syracuse, High-A Brooklyn, Low-A St. Lucie.

The Mets communicated the new rule in a company-wide memo on July 30; it went into effect Aug. 2.

Among those excluded from the requirement: unionized stadium workers such as security guards, as well as some baseball employees like coaches and scouts.

 

It is likely that the Mets eventually will require all of those groups to be vaccinated, too, a source said.

Despite the urging of organizational bosses and the entire medical and science communities, the Mets’ Tier 1 employees — mostly players — still have not reached the 85% vaccination threshold sought by MLB, a source said.

The Mets cannot force major-league players to get the shots because the health-and-safety protocols are negotiated by MLB with the MLB Players Association.

Koosman honored

The Mets retired Jerry Koosman’s No. 36 in a pregame ceremony, making him just the third player in franchise history to receive that honor after Tom Seaver (No. 41) and Mike Piazza (No. 31).

Koosman, the winningest lefthander in club history (140 victories), had a 3.09 ERA while with the Mets from 1967-78, serving as the 1B to Seaver’s 1A for most of that span.

"Humbly thankful that they thought that much of me," Koosman, 78, said. "I know I’m joining a great crew that has already had their numbers retired. I don’t know that I deserve it, but I guess we’re going to get on with it."

Team president Sandy Alderson indicated there would be more such number-retirement celebrations in the coming seasons.

"It’s a storied franchise. Some people would say iconic. It’s only that way because of the history that we have and the players who have created that history," he said. "It’s important that we recognize our history and to some extent educate current fans as to what took place years and years ago."

Martinez delayed

Rehabbing the torn meniscus in his left knee, Jose Martinez hyperextended his left shoulder on a swing Thursday, delaying his return indefinitely. Manager Luis Rojas said Martinez was due to visit New York City to be evaluated by team medical personnel.

Extra bases

Luis Guillorme (strained left hamstring) is due to return this week . . . Jose Peraza (fractured right middle finger) is "doing all baseball activity" and is approaching starting a rehab assignment, Rojas said . . . James McCann (back spasms) has been taking batting practice and catching bullpen sessions but is still feeling "slight tightness at times," according to the manager, who added, "I don’t want to say a date just yet, but he’s getting real close."

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