Unvaccinated Red Sox coach Tom Goodwin won’t return in 2022
The Red Sox end-of-season press conference to tie up the loose ends of the 2021 season and look ahead to the offseason and 2022 was full of revelations.
Among the most note-worthy news was the announcement that Tom Goodwin would not be returning as a coach in 2022.
Goodwin, who was hired in November 2017, missed significant time during the regular season after being deemed a close contact to others within the organization who had tested positive for coronavirus twice.
When MLB mandated that all postseason staff be vaccinated, Goodwin missed the Red Sox’s playoff run. Quality control coach Ramón Vázquez stepped in instead.
While President of Baseball Operations Chaim Bloom said that Goodwin’s vaccination status “had nothing to do” with the club’s decision to let him go, it’s hard to believe. After all, his personal decision not to get vaccinated impacted him during the regular season and then prevented him from being able to coach his players during the postseason.
Manager Alex Cora made it clear that the team loved Goodwin, but also said this when asked about who would replace him:
"“Whoever we decide is going to be our first base coach, he’s going to be a good one and he’s going to help us win games.”"
This is a pointed statement considering the case could be made that Goodwin’s coaching cost the Sox games.
The Red Sox had some of the worst baserunning numbers in MLB in 2021
Baserunning hurt the Sox this year, and Goodwin shares significant blame in that area. Their 54 outs on base were tied for third-most, and their 22 outs on second tied the Oakland A’s for most in MLB. Their 40 stolen bases ranked second-to-last in MLB and well below the league average of 74.
Goodwin coached first base but also worked with players on baserunning and outfield defense, two areas in which the team really struggled this season. These issues are the main reason Goodwin won’t return, but it’s likely a consequence of his decision to stay unvaccinated, too.