Cubs president upset team isn't 85% vaccinated against COVID-19: 'It’s a pretty horrible feeling'

The goal for teams across Major League Baseball is to get 85% of players and staff members vaccinated against COVID-19.

Doing so not only means that those within the organizations are safer, but it also means that teams can loosen a number of restrictions — like mask wearing, indoor and outdoor dining, using public team spaces freely and more.

Yet Chicago Cubs president Jed Hoyer said Thursday that his team isn’t likely to hit that 85% mark, and he’s not happy about it.

"It's disappointing to not be at 85%, as a team," Hoyer said, via ESPN. "We've worked hard to try and convince or educate the people that have been reluctant. We're at a place right now — I'm not going to give up hope we're going to get there — my level of optimism is waning. It is disappointing."

Hoyer: ‘It’s a pretty horrible feeling’

About half of teams in the league have surpassed the 85% vaccination threshold already. Among the other restrictions that are loosened, players on those teams that are deemed close contacts to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus won’t have to miss time.

It’s unclear how many Cubs players have been vaccinated, and how many more would need to in order for the restrictions to be loosened. The team has had a pretty significant outbreak already this year, too.

"It's a pretty horrible feeling, pretty helpless feeling," Hoyer said, via ESPN. "The fact that we aren't able to eliminate that is disappointing. It's irrefutable that [vaccination] eliminates risk."

At least from a front office standpoint, a mostly-vaccinated team is a clear advantage. If nothing else, that allows the coronavirus pandemic to be one less thing for them to worry about as the season goes on.

Not everyone on the team, however, feels the same way that Hoyer does.

"I don't necessarily see that as a competitive advantage or disadvantage," pitcher Jake Arietta said, via ESPN. "We have a lot of guys vaccinated. We have not had any cases in the past month, so we're doing OK as a group. And we're being careful about where we go and who we're around.”

Hoyer, though, doesn’t get that mindset — especially given that this is an easy precaution that players can take for their health.

"This is one that can be avoided, and we're not able to avoid it in some ways," Hoyer said, via ESPN. "It's a part of the job I never quite imagined, being involved in that kind of education, that kind of convincing."

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