ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics played a baseball game on Wednesday night. Under normal circumstances, this is the status quo and few would think twice about a 7:05 game starting on time with the exception of a weather delay.
Just hours prior, the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks refused to take the court for their playoff game against the Orlando Magic to protest the police shooting of Jacob Blake in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Soon after, the rest of the NBA's slate of playoff games were postponed.
The movement swept into Major League Baseball when the Milwaukee Brewers decided as a team to not take the field in their matchup with the Cincinnati Reds. That caused the rest of the baseball world to contemplate whether or not to play, including the Rangers.
"We had some internal discussions," Rangers manager Chris Woodward said. "I talked to a few of our African American players and our coaching staff as well. We all felt we were comfortable going out and playing."
Obviously, there were two teams at Globe Life Field that had a decision to make tonight. Woodward mentioned that even though his team decided to play Wednesday night, they were prepared to honor Oakland's decision if they decided not to play.
“We did (have a discussion),” A's manager Bob Melvin said. “You know, it was really close to game time, and we decided to play. I did give the option for anybody who didn’t feel comfortable playing not to play.
“But it was kind of too rushed when it came to us before we got together and everybody was pretty united, was united, in playing.”
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"Up until about 6:45 I guess it was maybe in doubt," Woodward said. "I talked to Bob Melvin personally and they said they were going to go. He was going to honor if somebody didn't want to play. He was going to honor their personal decision. But as a group, they said they were going to play."
But the shooting of Blake was apparently on the minds of several Oakland players. None of them made themselves available for the postgame Zoom calls. Instead, their group will mull over whether or not to take the field Thursday evening.
“We’re going to talk about it more as a group,” Melvin said, “Extensively as a group.”
It's been quite a while since what happened on the field seemed secondary to the story outside of the game. The Rangers dropped their second straight game by a score of 3-1, despite Kolby Allard carrying a no-hitter into the sixth inning.
The Rangers offense struggled again, coupled with some lousy defense. The Rangers finished the game with a "3" in both the hit and error columns in Wednesday night's box score.
The Rangers are now 11-19 at the midway point of the 2020 season. The trade deadline is five days away, and the Rangers have some potentially hot commodities ahead of this year's deadline.
While it will be interesting to see what the Rangers can do to improve the club for the long-term at the deadline, it will be even more curious of whether or not baseball will be played on Thursday evening in Arlington.