By Tom Brennan

Phils pitcher Aaron Nola is back tonight starting at Yankee Stadium after missing time because of COVID-19 protocols.

He was not infected, but he was in contact with someone who had been.

And Nola, rather casually, announced that he had not gotten vaccinated because it’s a “personal choice.”

Now comes Marcus Hayes in the Inky, with some stunning info:

Two sources connected to Phillies ownership and management have said in the past weeks that about half of the 26 players on the current roster have refused the vaccine, a number confirmed by team and league sources Sunday.

This vaccine resistance has left the ownership group and the management team terrified and exasperated. The playoffs are within reach, but a COVID-19 shutdown hovers over the season like the sword of Damocles.

As the Delta variant pushes a nationwide surge in new cases, largely among the unvaccinated, a large portion of the clubhouse has ignored pleas from the team to accept protection. The Phillies even gave away free tickets, refreshments, and a promotional item to any fan who accepted a free vaccine at a series against the Braves in early June.

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