Dodgers: Albert Pujols is vaccine success story just before playoff run
By Adam Weinrib
While the 2021 Los Angeles Dodgers’ season isn’t exactly following their stated path, due in large part to the San Francisco Giants‘ unexpected (and monstrous) success, they’ve still wound up with a shot at a playoff run.
Once they get in, anything can happen — including an immediate grudge match with the very same Giants, assuming they can sneak by the flaming hot St. Louis Cardinals (no guarantee whatsoever, of course).
The best-case scenario for Los Angeles involves a fully-healthy roster with limited risk entering that all-important showdown.
Of course, the subtext here involves the team taking as many precautions as they can to keep healthy players active. A close-knit team does breed the potential for close contacts, after all.
So, when resurgent veteran slugger Albert Pujols hit the IL on Tuesday as the corresponding move for Cody Bellinger — who’s back a bit earlier than we imagined? — the mood got dour, even though he’s probably going to serve mostly as a motivational figure in October.
The reason behind Pujols’ IL stint, though, actually bred reason for optimism, in stark contrast by the sports gibberish we’ve been dealing with lately in the NBA, NFL and, yes, even other quadrants of the Dodgers locker room.
Dodgers slugger Albert Pujols is a pre-postseason vaccine success story.
According to manager Dave Roberts — and we choose to believe him — Pujols is on the shelf for a noble reason: he’s battling symptoms from his second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
That would theoretically give Pujols full immunity in about two weeks, but any advantage helps stave off infection, and this is a big boost from a single shot.
Clearly, Pujols has been lucky thus far in avoiding infection while staying congested in the dugout. This is an intelligent preventative measure to make sure he doesn’t have to rely on luck.
And, perhaps most importantly, the proximity of his dosage seems to indicate that Pujols may once have been a skeptic, but has now seen the value in vaccination. That’s a win for the team as well.
There’s been — shall we say — some vaccine skepticism coming from the Dodgers bullpen lately, which could threaten to derail the entire unit if things were to break the wrong way.
We’re not sure what won over Pujols, but we’d rather see that sentiment spreading instead, ahead of a very important October.