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'I don't believe we should play today': Twins unanimously decide to postpone game against Tigers

Rocco Baldelli
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli watches from the dugout during the eighth inning in Game 3 of a baseball American League Division Series against the New York Yankees, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

Twins and Tigers players elected not to play Thursday night’s game in Detroit with the Twins saying, “we fully respect our players for their decision,” in a statement. This comes as multiple teams and leagues follow the NBA’s lead from Wednesday in postponing games to protest Sunday’s shooting of Jacob Blake by a police officer in Kenosha, Wis. Blake was shot seven times in the back as the police attempted to subdue him.

The Twins-Tigers game will be made up as part of a traditional doubleheader on Friday starting at 12:10 p.m. Both games will be seven innings and the final two games of the series will be played on Saturday and Sunday, as previously scheduled.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said his players met at 3:45 p.m. Eastern time in the clubhouse at Comerica Park and made their decision.

“The day began with several different conversations,” Baldelli said. “I think the players spent a lot of time talking with each other, but I also was able to catch up with more than a few of them. I think a lot of what came about today, deciding not to play the game, came from just organizing our thoughts a little bit. Spending a little time touching base with everyone. When we get together as a group it was something that the players wanted to do, which I think is when it’s most meaningful and the players ultimately shared things.”

Baldelli said that Taylor Rogers, Trevor May and Nelson Cruz all spoke and Rogers, as the first player to address the team, said, “I don’t believe we should play today.” Badelli called it, “a very powerful gathering,” that resulted in an unanimous vote to not play Thursday, “out of respect for all.”

The Twins played in Cleveland on Wednesday night after the NBA began postponing its games but that was in part because the decision by NBA teams, starting with the Milwaukee Bucks, caught many by surprise.

The Tigers, led by former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, also had an emotional meeting about postponing the game.

Other MLB games that won’t be played Thursday include the Red Sox-Blue Jays, Phillies-Nationals, Rangers-Athletics, Orioles-Rays and Rockies-Diamondbacks. Three games were postponed for the same reason on Wednesday night, including the Giants-Dodgers, Brewers-Reds, and Mariners-Padres. The WNBA and MLS also postponed games on Wednesday when players decided not to play and the NBA and WNBA remained out on Thursday. Some NFL teams also decided not to practice.

The NHL also postponed its playoff games on Thursday and Friday after playing on Wednesday. NBA players, meanwhile, have voted to resume their postseason but ESPN reported it’s likely there won’t be games again until Saturday.

“I’m very proud of the way it was handled by our group,” Baldelli said of the Twins’ decision. “Respectfully and thoroughly in a very powerful moment, I think, throughout baseball.”