Rangers vs Angels Pre-Game Notes: Woodward, Choo Reflect on Roberto Clemente

Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward and outfielder Shin-Soo Choo discuss the impact Roberto Clemente has on them and the game of baseball.
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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers seek to build off Tuesday night's win over the Los Angeles Angels on Roberto Clemente Day.

Los Angeles Angels (17-26) @ Texas Rangers (14-27)

Wednesday, September 9, 2020
7:05 p.m. CT
Globe Life Field | Arlington, TX
Roof Closed

Probables
LAA: RHP Julio Teheran (0-2, 7.94 ERA)
vs
TEX: RHP Kyle Cody (0-1, 0.00 ERA)

Broadcast

Los Angeles Angels
TV: FOX Sports West
Radio: KLAA

Texas Rangers
TV: FOX Sports Southwest
Radio: 105.3 The Fan, KFLC

Los Angeles Angels Starting Lineup

  1. SS Andrelton Simmons
  2. 2B Matt Thaiss
  3. CF Mike Trout
  4. 3B Anthony Rendon
  5. DH Shohei Ohtani
  6. 1B Albert Pujols
  7. RF Jo Adell
  8. C Anthony Bemboom
  9. 2B Luis Rengifo

Texas Rangers Starting Lineup

  1. CF Leody Taveras
  2. 3B Isiah Kiner-Falefa
  3. DH Nick Solak
  4. RF Joey Gallo
  5. C Jose Trevino
  6. 2B Rougned Odor
  7. 1B Ronald Guzmán
  8. SS Anderson Tejeda
  9. LF Eli White

Injury Report

10-Day IL

  • Joe Palumbo (ulcerative colitis flare-up): eligible August 14
  • Willie Calhoun (strained left hamstring): eligible August 30
  • Danny Santana (right elbow sprain): eligible September 6
  • Joely Rodríguez (left hamstring strain): eligible September 16
  • Shin-Soo Choo (right hand sprain): eligible September 18

45-Day IL

  • Brock Burke (left shoulder surgery): eligible May 27
  • Corey Kluber (torn right teres major muscle (shoulder)): eligible September 11
  • José Leclerc (torn right teres major muscle (shoulder)): eligible September 13
  • Edinson Vólquez (right oblique strain): eligible September 27

Rangers Roster Moves

  • OF Shin-Soo Choo has been placed on the 10-day IL retroactive to September 8 (right hand sprain)
  • 2B Rougned Odor has been activated from the 10-day IL (right eye infection)

Chris Woodward, Shin-Soo Choo Reflect on Roberto Clemente

All teams in Major League Baseball will honor Pittsburgh Pirates legendary outfielder Roberto Clemente on what is aptly dubbed Roberto Clemente Day.

In 1973, Clemente became the first Latin-born baseball player to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. On December 31, 1972, Clemente boarded a small plane en route from his home country of Puerto Rico to Nicaragua to assist with earthquake relief. The heavily loaded plane crashed just off the Puerto Rican coast, and Clemente’s body was never recovered.

Clemente exemplified excellence on and off the field. On the field, he won four National League batting titles, 12 Gold Gloves as a right fielder, was named the 1966 NL MVP, and helped the Pirates win the World Series in 1960 and 1971. In the final start of his career, Clemente doubled to become the 11th player to record 3,000 hits.

Off the field, Clemente's efforts as a humanitarian are nearly unrivaled, making him one of the most unique and special players to ever play the game of baseball.

"You watch old highlights; the arm, the speed, the bat—everything. Obviously, he’s one of the best players," Woodward said. "But what he did off the field—we should celebrate more often athletes that conduct themselves in this way. We celebrate other people that aren’t athletes in that way. The humanitarian; all the things that he did, I think it would be really important for everybody in the world outside of baseball to see that this man was special. He’s probably one of the most special athletes we’ve had in any sport."

Every year, Major League Baseball awards one of thirty players with the Roberto Clemente Award. MLB describes the award as "the annual recognition of a Major League player who best represents the game of baseball through extraordinary character, community involvement, philanthropy and positive contributions, both on and off the field."

One player from each baseball club in nominated every year. This year, outfielder Shin-Soo Choo was nominated on behalf of the Texas Rangers.

"Its has a lot of meaning," Choo said. "I've played baseball for 30 years. I've won a lot of trophies in my career. This trophy means more than just baseball. It's not just a baseball trophy. It's outside the baseball field, the community, and how much you think about other people. For me, I can't put a value on this honor." 

There is a debate among players, fans, and the media of whether Clemente's No. 21 should be retired throughout baseball. As of now, only Jackie Robinson's No. 42 is the only number that is retired throughout the league. Of course, Robinson is well known for his on-the-field excellence and being the first African American player in MLB, breaking the color barrier in 1947.

I put Chris Woodward on the spot and asked him if Clemente's No. 21 should be retired.

“I would be for it," Woodward said. "I don’t know where MLB stands on that. We only have one (retired); very deserving with Jackie Robinson. Obviously what he did on the field was one of the best of all time."

To honor Roberto Clemente, Rangers Catching and Advance Scouting Coordinator Hector Ortiz and shortstop Elvis Andrus will join Shin-Soo Choo in wearing No. 21 on Wednesday night. In addition, all Rangers will wear a No. 21 patch on their left sleeve.

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