Xander Bogaerts is the latest Red Sox’ COVID-positive

BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on May 6, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - MAY 6: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox looks on during a game against the Detroit Tigers at Fenway Park on May 6, 2021 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
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Xander Bogaerts has tested positive for COVID

The Boston Red Sox are experiencing a deluge of positive COVID-19 tests.

Xander Bogaerts was abruptly removed from Tuesday night’s Sox-Rays game, and given the context of the last few days, it was easy to figure out why.

Now, it’s been confirmed that the All-Star shortstop is the latest player to test positive for coronavirus.

The Red Sox have a massive COVID-19 outbreak

Bogaerts will join Kiké Hernández, Christian Arroyo, Matt Barnes, Martín Pérez, and Hirokazu Sawamura on the COVID-related IL.

While Hernández and Barnes have been confirmed as vaccinated, it’s unclear which of their teammates are in the jab club with them, though there are inferences to be made based on comments from other players throughout the pandemic as to which side they fall on.

Two coaches have also tested positive.

Is the Red Sox season over?

Losing this many players would hurt any team, but losing Bogaerts for a significant period of the last month of the season is a major blow in more ways than one. He’s emerged as the team leader, a mentor to younger players, the rare player who holds himself accountable and faces the media win or lose. At only 28 years old, he is now their longest-tenured player, dating back to his 2013 debut. His absence will be palpable on and off the field over the next week or so, though the season already feels like a lost cause.

It’s hard to remember a Sox season that went from uplifting to disheartening this quickly. The Red Sox looked less and less like a playoff team as summer wore on, though they were never expected to be one in the first place. But there’s a big difference between inefficient, mediocre pitching that regresses to its mean and a medical emergency that was at least partially avoidable.

In an embarrassing bit of irony, the Red Sox partnered with Moderna this year, to present Moderna’s “mRNA mRBI of the game” (cute, right?), but were one of only six MLB teams who still had not reached the 85% vaccination threshold required to lessen COVID restrictions. That ‘personal choice’ is now hurting them immensely, collectively.

At this point, how do you come back from this? You really don’t. In more ways than one.

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