A baseball game was played Friday night at Globe Life Park, and baseball was discussed before and after the Texas Rangers beat the Minnesota Twins 6-5.
Derek Holland threw. Yu Darvish and Keone Kela are closing in on coming back. Chi Chi Gonzalez and Nick Martinez were optioned, but could be back in the rotation after the All-Star break.
Kyle Lohse is starting Saturday.
Much of the talk, though, centered on the Thursday shootings in Dallas that claimed the lives of five police officers, four from the Dallas Police Department and one from the Dallas Area Rapid Transit.
“When I woke this morning, you know what the last thing on my mind was? This game,” manager Jeff Banister said. “I went to bed last night watching and woke up this morning watching.
“We’re going to go out and watch a baseball game because that’s what we do. Our guys are going to play their [butts] off. But I can guarantee you this, this was the last thing I was thinking about this morning.”
He wasn’t alone.
Here’s some Rangers Reaction from Friday.
1. A popular area for Rangers players to reside during the season is in Dallas’ Uptown. Many live there this season, and many decided to stay at the team hotel in Arlington upon learning about the shootings after Thursday’s game.
It was a minor inconvenience, relative to what others were going through, and the players didn’t act the least bit put out. Instead, the proximity of the deadliest attack on a police force since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks hit very close to home.
“This is home,” said Holland, a former Uptown resident. “You should feel safe. The police are the ones who are supposed to protect us. This is a big deal. This affects everyone. These are tough times, and we need to come together as one.”
Prince Fielder offered fairly poignant commentary on the shootings, saying that while baseball might be an escape for some, people shouldn’t try to forget the tragedy.
“It’s terrible,” Fielder said. “Anytime any innocent lives are taken, it’s just a horrible thing.
“As athletes and entertainers, that’s what we really are, I guess an escape. But this is a serious issue. You don’t want to escape it. You really want to handle it. Those are things we need to look at and not shy away from. You really need to see what has happened and try to do something about it.”
Ryan Rua, Martinez and Rougned Odor live in Uptown and stayed elsewhere Thursday night. All their thoughts were with the families of the victims, as were the thoughts of Dallas natives Bryan Holaday and Shawn Tolleson.
“It hits closer to home because it’s closer to home,” said Tolleson, who lives in Allen. “It seems like every day somewhere in the world something terrible is happening. It’s just the dark world we live in.
“Sometimes it’s easy to kind of numb yourself to the things that are going on in the world and in other parts in the world, but, yeah, when something happens just down the road from you, it kind of wakes you up a little bit and makes you realize what kind of people are in the world.”
2. Joey Gallo is with Triple A Round Rock but has spent plenty of time in Uptown from his days with Double A Frisco and in two stints in the majors.
During his brief call-up in May, Gallo and his pal Nomar Mazara were walking the streets of Downtown Dallas when an officer approached them. Gallo posted his recollection of the moment on Instagram.
“I know who you guys are,” Gallo recalled the officer saying to them.. “Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara, can I get a picture with you guys please?”
The officer, it turned out, was Patrick Zamarripa, one of the four Dallas officers killed. Zamarripa played baseball at Paschal High in Fort Worth and was at Globe Life Park for Opening Day.
“I’ll never forget how kind and down to earth he was,” Gallo said. “We ended up having a 15 minute conversation about sports with him. He was an avid Rangers fan. But more importantly a great person, and family man. Please keep Patrick, and all the officers affected and their families in our prayers today.”
3. Baseball time, and it’s a winning edition. Cole Hamels, though, didn’t have a hand in ending the Rangers’ two-game losing streak.
The left-hander, the All-Star, didn’t make it five innings, falling two out shorts and leaving after another five runs in a game in which his team really could have used an ace-like performance.
The bullpen is worn down. The rotation is beaten down. Both needed the kind of pick-me-up that has come to be expected from Hamels.
But his scoreless first inning required 33 pitches, and he quickly surrendered the 2-0 lead the Rangers gave him. In the fifth, he coughed up another fresh 4-2 lead as the Twins opened single, walk, homer.
Hamels left having thrown 109 pitches and issuing a career-high-tying six walks.
Maybe the analysis is a tad harsh considering all Hamels has done in the first half, but the analysis is also based on the expectations Hamels has for himself. He knows the shape of the pitching staff and knew it Sunday when the Twins got him for five runs in four innings.
One of the first things he said afterward was that the team needed him to go deep in the game after Gonzalez lasted two-thirds of an inning in the previous game. Hamels was tuned in to the Twins’ approach and knew what they’d do against him Friday.
He just couldn’t deliver the start he felt he needed to give and that has become expected of him.
Tony Barnette, though, delivered 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Matt Bush got the help of base-running blunder by Kennys Vargas in a scoreless eighth, and Sam Dyson had his cleanest save in weeks.
The offense had six different players drive in runs. Elvis Andrus had one with a triple and then made two key defensive plays.
It was a good win on a day when baseball was hardly the most important thing happening in the area.