News of new ballpark excites players, coaches

May 20th, 2016
A rendering of the Rangers' new ballpark with the roof open. (Texas Rangers)

HOUSTON -- The Rangers announced plans for a new ballpark on Friday, and three hours south it was the talk of the clubhouse before the club's series opener against the Astros.

The stadium, which will have a retractable roof and will open in 2021, is still a long ways off, meaning it's hard to say how much of the current staff or roster will be around to enjoy it.

Rangers, Arlington announce new ballpark

That didn't slow the optimism for some.

"That would feel great," said Rougned Odor. "In Texas, it gets pretty rough, pretty hot. It would be good for us."

Odor joked that the new park may or may not affect his decision come free agency, which would ostensibly come after a third arbitration year in, coincidentally, 2020.

The notorious heat in Arlington was obviously a compelling reason for the retractable roof, as ownership emphasized during Friday's news conference that they expect enhanced attendance at the new park.

There's also been insinuations in the past, though, that Globe Life's scorching summer temperatures -- the field often gets up to 110 degrees in July and August -- help the home team. Manager Jeff Banister wasn't so sure but wasn't about to argue against the new digs.

"We got a nice house [already]. We really do," Banister said. "Yet the prospect of possibly having a house with a retractable roof would be great for the fans, the experience. We won't have to worry about losing a game, as far as to weather.

"When it's new, you got all the modern amenities. The question about players and the heat … I think [everybody's] really good at monitoring those things with players now -- the nutritional aspects, the sleep, the rest. … We try to save their legs, give them appropriate days off already."

If there's one player, though, who might have the best shot at seeing the park through, it's rookie Nomar Mazara. The outfielder expressed excitement about potentially spending the middle of his career in a sparkling new stadium.

"When it's that hot, you just have to power through as a player," Mazara said. "It's nice to get a break from it.

"It's going to be a big deal for this club."