Texas Rangers executive Jon Daniels responded to President Biden’s criticism of the team having a full capacity crowd at Globe Life Field for the home opener against the Toronto Blue Jays on April 5.
Biden told ESPN that it was a “mistake” during a taped interview that aired on Wednesday night.
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Daniels, the president of baseball operations for the American League franchise, believes the 100% capacity crowd is nothing more than a “one-time event.”
“I think after Opening Day, reality is we’re not going to be at full capacity, I doubt it,” Daniels told 105.3 THE FAN in Dallas / Ft. Worth on Thursday.
Daniels said that he hopes people are responsible and they wear masks during the game. He added that he believes after Opening Day, he doesn’t see full attendance “being a regular occurrence.”
Some of Daniels’ expectations may have something to do with the team’s performance. The Rangers have missed the playoffs in six of the last eight seasons and baseball data firm, FanGraphs, projects the Rangers to finish with a record of 69-93, which would put them last in the AL West.
TEXAS RANGERS ALLOWING FULL CAPACITY IN BALLPARK ‘A MISTAKE,’ BIDEN SAYS
Team play notwithstanding, Daniels said that he understands where Biden was coming from with his comments.
“I do see it’s kind of a complex issue and I do see why the President would say what he said,” Daniels said.
On the eve of Opening Day, Biden shared his thoughts with ESPN on the Rangers’ decision not to limit the number of fans at the ballpark.
“Well, that’s a decision they made. I think it’s a mistake,” the president said. “They should listen to Dr. (Anthony) Fauci, the scientists, and the experts. But I think it’s not responsible.”
Texas played all 30 home games during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season without fans, but the team’s home field hosted the National League Championship Series, as well as the World Series, and 28% capacity was granted for those two series.
Rangers CEO Neil Leibman said in March he was confident the ballpark wouldn’t be hosting a “super-spreader event.”
“With all the protocols that we’re following, we’ll be extremely responsible and provide a very comfortable environment for somebody to enjoy the game without worrying we’re going to be a spreader event,” he said.
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Rob Matwick, the team’s executive vice president, emphasized the need for fans to willingly comply with any requirements but said they will be enforced if need be.
“We will need fan cooperation, there’s no doubt. The good news is the numbers are trending down,” Matwick said. “Can we drop our vigilance? No. We need their cooperation.”
Fox News’ Ryan Gaydos contributed to this report.