ARLINGTON, Texas — As the Rangers prepare to host a full house at Globe Life Field on Monday afternoon, the team's manager made one final plea to their fans to "be responsible" when they come to the ballpark.
"I've asked our fans that show up today to be responsible," Woodward said. "I think they've got to do their part. You know we've asked them to wear masks when they're not eating or drinking. I think it's important that they do that."
The Rangers are set to be the first American professional sports franchise to welcome a 100% capacity crowd since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the 40,000-plus people in attendance on Monday is expected to be the largest gathering of people at any event since pandemic restrictions began about a year ago in the U.S.
In addition to his plea for safe behavior from the fans, Woodward also discussed the excitement of playing in front of a full house again.
"We've talked about it the last couple of days but we're gonna have to, you know, find our inner peace because we're going to probably get too excited," Woodward said. "There's gonna be a lot of guys who haven't played in front of a full house in a long time. Nobody has. So there's gonna be a ton of energy and you know we got to make sure -- we've got a lot of young players on our team. We've got to find a way to calm our emotions, because we are going to feed off our fans."
The Rangers opened the season going 1-2 in a three-game set in Kansas City, where the Royals allowed up to 10,000 fans, as they will do for all of April, before reassessing.
"Obviously, we haven't played in front of our fans in a long time and to be able to do that today, it is super exciting," Woodward said. "But we're obviously going to try to give them the best version of our team and, you know, play good baseball at the same time so controlling our emotions are going to be a key to us winning today."
First pitch between the Rangers and Toronto Blue Jays is 3:05 p.m. Monday.