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On a night of emotion and uncertainty, Athletics down Rangers 3-1

Photo: Alex Plinck/Dallas Sports Fanatic

On a night of emotion and uncertainty, Athletics down Rangers 3-1

I’m sure the Rangers and Athletics players, coaches, and Globe Life Field staff came to work on Wednesday thinking it was a “normal” day under pandemic circumstances. However, countless events took place throughout the sports world, and important talks and discussions took place. Every single sporting event scheduled for Wednesday was questionable, some played, and some didn’t. The Rangers and Athletics both agreed to proceed with Wednesday night, where Oakland downed the lowly Rangers 3-1.

It started in Orlando, the schedule set for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Orlando Magic to begin a Game 5 showdown, but the Bucks didn’t take the floor. Milwaukee boycotted the game due to the Jacob Blake shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Next, the NBA decided to postpone the other two playoff scheduled games on Wednesday (Rockets/Thunder and Lakers/Blazers).

Following, the WNBA took pursuit and postponed their three scheduled games (Mystics/Dream, Sparks/Lynx, and Sun/Mercury) and five MLS games postponed, including FC Dallas’ match against Colorado. The boycott made its way to baseball, where the Milwaukee Brewers and Cincinnati Reds agreed to not play Wednesday along with two other games (Mariners/Padres and Dodgers/Giants). Players like Matt Kemp of the Rockies and Jason Heyward of the Cubs sat out in their respective games. It was clear athletes across the country wanted to make a forceful impact to show that what’s going on in the world means a lot to them.

The Rangers and Athletics game on Wednesday was up in the air. The press box felt a sense of the unknown and strange things occurred. I arrived at the ballpark at 5 pm central time, when the visiting team would take batting practice. The A’s were on the field stretching, and the batting practice nets were still there. However, no Oakland Athletic took BP on Wednesday. The team did some fielding drills, and they played a round of circle soccer (Oakland does that pregame), but no one took batting practice despite the nets still there. Time went by, news of other games and sports postponing, and it felt like no game would play on Wednesday. Then Mike Fiers was starting to warm up with Sean Murphy, and I saw Jose Trevino getting ready. The grounds crew was maintaining the field. Once the norm kicked in, the game began.

Rangers manager Chris Woodward talked after the game about if there was any indecision on playing Wednesday night’s game, “There was a little bit, on [the Athletics] side, to consider whether or not they were going to play or not. There were some players on their team that felt maybe they didn’t want to play today. We were fully going to support that.” Woodward mentioned afterward that there was possible doubt of postponement until 6:45 central time, twenty minutes before the game, but ultimately the ball was in Oakland’s court.

“We are not ignoring what’s going on by any means. Obviously, we’re very empathetic to the situation and talking about it, but we thought it was okay to kind of go out and play a baseball game. We were waiting for them and were going to honor whatever they wanted to do.” Woody said in his postgame press conference. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, no Athletics players spoke to the media after Wednesday night’s game.

The Rangers got a good outing from Kolby Allard Wednesday. Allard took a no-hitter into the sixth inning, where he allowed two baserunners through five innings. Kolby talked about some adjustments made, referencing pitch selection. “I thought we were getting a little too predictable on the mound,” Kolby said after the game referencing his previous two starts. Though once the order turned for the second time, Allard started struggling by walking back-to-back hitters with Marcus Semien and Ramon Laureano. The Athletics scored two runs with one hit in the sixth and never looked back.

The game ended on a controversial groundout where Chris Woodward argued the ball hit Nick Solak’s foot. The umpires got together and stood with the groundout call (a non-reviewable play). The Rangers and Athletics finish a four-game series Thursday at 5:45 central on FOX. Athletics’ manager, Bob Melvin, said that he and his club would discuss whether to play tomorrow. Based on tonight’s events, if Oakland decides they don’t want to play, the Rangers will likely honor that request.

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. My baseball memory bank is dominated by the Texas Rangers with the other 29 franchises sprinkled in. In addition, I enjoy NFL Sunday afternoons and only the first NCAA tournament weekend.

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