Thursday, March 30, 2023

Al Leiter, John Smoltz barred from MLB Network studio after refusing COVID vaccine

Two of MLB Network’s top personalities will seemingly be working from home for a while.

Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz and former All-Star pitcher Al Leiter, who serve as in-studio analysts for the network, will not be appearing in-studio after refusing to get the coronavirus vaccine.

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The decision was first reported by the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.

MLB Network issued a vaccine mandate effective Sept. 1, meaning that Smoltz and Leiter will continue their duties for the network remotely. 

Smoltz is also the lead analyst for Fox’s baseball coverage alongside play-by-play announcer Joe Buck. And while Fox hasn’t issued a vaccine mandate yet, Leiter’s other employer, the Mets , for whom he’s a baseball operations adviser, has mandated that its employees be vaccinated. Smoltz is also still slated to call the network’s ALDS games when the series begins in October.

According to the New York Post , MLB Network declined to comment on the matter, while neither Smoltz nor Leiter responded to requests for comment.


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