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Athletics don’t play finale at Texas to support racial justice

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Oakland Athletics have decided not to play their series finale at Texas to show support for calls for racial justice.

Oakland’s decision not to play Thursday night came a day after three Major League Baseball games were postponed in response to the police shooting of a Black man in Wisconsin last weekend.

“We respect the decision by the Oakland A’s players to postpone tonight’s game,” the Rangers said in a statement less than three hours before the scheduled first pitch. “We stand with all those who condemn racial injustice and are committed to helping bring about an end to systemic racism.”

After Wednesday night’s game, A’s manager Bob Melvin said his team had discussed whether to take the field then, but that those talks “were just kind of too rushed” when they were able to get together. He said they were united in the decision to play and then “talk about it more as a group, extensively as a group.”

The finale of the four-game series was set to be a nationally televised game on Fox’s main network.

Texas manager Chris Woodward said there were some individual conversations with his players before Wednesday’s game and they were OK playing. He said then that the Rangers were going to “fully support” any of their players who decided not to play, and the same for the A’s if they decided not to play.

The three games postponed Wednesday – the Cincinnati Reds and Brewers in Milwaukee, Seattle Mariners and Padres in San Diego and the Los Angeles Dodgers and Giants in San Francisco – were being made up as part of doubleheaders Thursday.

Those baseball postponements came after the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks didn’t come out on the floor for Game 5 of their first-round playoff series with the Orlando Magic on Wednesday at Lake Buena Vista, Florida. NBA officials later announced that all three of the day’s scheduled playoff games had been postponed, and games scheduled Thursday also weren’t played.

MLS and WNBA games were also postponed.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”