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As Rangers Opening Day approaches, a look at how the club continues to handle health protocols

Photo: Alex Plinck/Dallas Sports Fanatic

As Rangers Opening Day approaches, a look at how the club continues to handle health protocols

In the final days before Opening Day, the anticipation of baseball back brings joy to fans, players, and coaches. However, the lingering feeling remains, how long will this season last? The results from not only Major League Baseball, but other sports are positive. The number of positive COVID-19 cases dwindle with each testing session, but there’s a sense of paranoia that eats everyone’s mind. Talks of a second wave continue, and some states are experiencing an increase in cases.

Before camp, Major League Baseball established a health protocol for pitchers, position players, and coaches. The media is not allowed on the field, and everyone was receptive to the new protocols. Rangers’ skipper Chris Woodward raved about how seriously his team took these protocols. The most significant point at the beginning of this is making sure when they step through these doors, they understand what is expected from them, from a protocol standpoint.” Chris Woodward said on July 2nd. “We need to be safe and make sure we take care of each other.”

Now that summer camp is concluding, and players focuses enter the season, it’s easy to revert to old habits. When a new protocol surfaces, it’s simple to hammer into the brain early because it’s fresh. Pitchers may go back to licking their fingers, and players may not be wearing masks regularly.

On Saturday, I asked Chris Woodward if his players are reverting to their old habits now that their concentration deviates from the intro to training again. “I think we have enough leadership from our staff and players; there are many reminders every day. I trust the leadership in the building.” An amenity club had to start camp was the ability to use both the visiting and home dugouts to space out players, unfortunately, with the season beginning this luxury is no longer an option. Still, Chris Woodward isn’t too concerned about that obstacle, “I don’t want to put guys in the auxiliary clubhouse on our roster. To start the season, it’s going to be a little more complicated, but we have to make sure our guys are on top of it.”

Testing will continue throughout the season and the overall consensus of the 2020 season is that it may not be the best team that wins, but who is the healthiest throughout the next three months. A positive test for a player and they may lose one-sixth of the season or more. Also, individual players continue to opt-out, which creates chaos, with a legitimate reason to opt-out. Right now, no Rangers players have opted out of the 2020 season.

The Rangers continue only to have two players test positive at the start, and both have been cleared to play. The overall percentage of positives continues to diminish, but we have to wait and to see. It’s promising to know MLB protocols seem to work, and a possibility of an abbreviated season starting and concluding will follow suit. Now we sit back and enjoy the game we all cherish. Family night baseball is back.

Credentialed Media Staff Writer covering the Texas Rangers for Dallas Sports Fanatic | 2014 University of North Texas graduate with a Bachelor's in Radio, Television, and Film. I talk about things. Find me on the tweeter @aplinckTX

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