Rangers fans ‘recreated’ for home opener
ARLINGTON, Texas (KWTX) - When the Texas Rangers take the field for the first time Friday night at Globe Life Stadium, the only fans in attendance may seem a bit flat. That’s because they will be cardboard cutouts, provided by Major League Baseball, decked out in Rangers gear.
In a Tweet Thursday, the team talked about these life-sized “doppelgängers,” as park attendants placed them in each and every seat ahead of their game against the Colorado Rockies.
Players and coaches with the team said they need all the support they can get from fans, especially because much of it will be virtual.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus said, “Playing with no fans in the ballpark is going to be super tough.”
“We need your support now, more than ever,” said Joey Gallo, one of the team’s outfielders. “Wear your Rangers gear. Watch it on TV. Support us through social media.”
The league said it’s trying hard to simulate the experience for players as closely as possible, sans exuberant fans in the stands. Earlier this week, the MLB gave each team a “soundtrack” of ambient noise, designed to simulate the fan experience.
The sounds range from dull murmurs, to cheers and celebrations, to organ music, playing ballpark favorites.
The league said the ban on spectators is an effort to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
Manager Chris Woodward said even though he believes they’re ready, he’s worried about what impact the lack of fan’s will have on the players.
The league is barring spectators at games because of COVID19, something players and coaches say will definitely have an impact.
“This year’s gonna be totally different,” he said. “Obviously with no fans I can’t stress enough how important it is to to feel the support of our fanbase.”
The MLB also implemented some rule changes this season, which has been shortened to 60 games.
Players in the National League will have a designated hitter, and teams will get an automatic runner on 2ndbase if a tie game makes it 10 innings.
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