The coronavirus has hit the Texas Rangers organization just one week into the delayed start of their 2020 season. Radio broadcaster Matt Hicks has tested positive for COVID-19, the organization announced on Friday. In addition, another Rangers radio employee has also tested positive.
Hicks, who has been calling Rangers games for most of the last decade, will not be on the Rangers radio broadcast for the coming days. In addition, fellow broadcaster Eric Nadel has elected to opt out of this weekend's road games against the San Francisco Giants. Nadel has received a negative test result, according to the Rangers, but is making this decision "out of an abundance of caution."
In Nadel and Hicks' absence, Rangers pre and post-game host Jared Sander will call the action this weekend, alongside former Rangers David Murphy and Mark McLemore. Murphy will handle color commentary on Friday, while McLemore will fill that role on Saturday and Sunday.
Both Hicks and the other member of the radio crew are considered "Tier 3" credentialed individuals, within the Rangers organization. As a result, they have not had any access to Tier 1 or Tier 2 restricted areas, where players and coaches would ordinarily reside.
The radio announcers for this weekend's games will be working in separate booths at Globe Life Field.
In a statement Friday night, the Rangers said, "The health and safety of our employees are a top priority, and the Rangers will continue to diligently enforce the pandemic protocols that are in place at Globe Life Field. These include temperature checks upon entering the building, mandatory wearing of face coverings, and regular sanitation and cleaning of the Globe Life Field facilities."