Dallas victims on minds of Rangers, Twins

Dallas victims on minds of Rangers, Twins

ARLINGTON --Manager Jeff Banister was standing in the dugout during the seventh inning of Thursday's game against the Twins when Blake Miller, the Rangers vice-president for security, approached and told him about the tragic events unfolding in downtown Dallas.

"Gut-wretching," Banister said. "The rest of the game was pretty much a blur."

The flags at Globe Life Park in Arlington were at half-mast on Friday in honor of the five police officers killed by a sniper in downtown Dallas Thursday night. Seven other officers were wounded during the attack, which took place during an otherwise peaceful Black Lives Matter rally staged to honor African-American victims of police shootings that took place earlier in the week in Louisiana and Minnesota.

"A tragedy like this is so hard to overcome on so many levels," Banister said. "I have a lot of respect for the victims in Louisiana and Minnesota, and more so here. How do you rebuild and reconnect is not something I can comprehend.

"I have so much respect for the people who protect us. I know a lot of people are hurting in so many areas. All I know is sometime, some way, we have to sit down and talk out our differences. Violence is no way to handle this situation."

 All MLB clubs are observing President Obama's directive as it relates to the flying of U.S. flags at half-staff until sunset next Tuesday in memory and respect for the victims of the Dallas shooting.

The Rangers planned a moment of silence and all proceeds from the nightly Texas 2 Split Raffle on Friday are going to non-profit charities benefitting the victims of Thursday's tragedy.

"It's terrible, it's awful, it's sad," said reliever Shawn Tolleson, who was born and raised in the Dallas area.

"It's terrible anytime anybody loses their life," Prince Fielder said. "It's hard. It's something we have to deal with and take care of on both sides."

One of the victims was Patrick Zamarripa, who served three tours of duty in Iraq while in the Navy before joining the Dallas police department. He was a big Rangers fan and his long-time partner Kristy Villasenor and their daughter Lyncoln were at game on Thursday while Zamarripa was on duty in Dallas.

Joey Gallo wrote an Instagram on Friday, relating a chance meeting he had with Zamarripa on the streets in downtown Dallas a couple months ago.

Wrote Gallo: "When an officer stopped us, Mazara and I immediately became nervous, "I know who you guys are" he said. "Joey Gallo and Nomar Mazara, can I get a picture with you guys please?" It was definitely a first for me and Nomar to have an officer, a true hero, want to meet us. His name is Patrick Zamarripa, one of the officers killed in last nights shootings in Dallas.

"I'll never forget how kind and down to Earth he was. We ended up having a 15 minute conversation about sports with him. He was an avid Rangers fan. But more importantly a great person, and family man. Please keep Patrick, and all the officers affected and their families in our prayers today."

Many of the Rangers make the Dallas-Fort Worth area their home year round and downtown Dallas is a popular spot for the younger players.

"It's not something you want to see," pitcher Derek Holland said. "I'm praying for all of them. This is our police department, they keep us safe. This has to stop, we should be united. We are a country, we've got to be one. It's not a happy place. This is our home.

"We need to feel safe and the police do that. The last thing we need to do is turn on the police. This is a tough time and we need to come together as one."

The Twins felt the impact as much as the Rangers.

"I wasn't aware until late in the game and didn't get a lot of details as far of the officers being specifically targeted," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I didn't realize that until I came in here. It was a little awkward doing the postgame when you find out something like that as disturbing as it was. It's one of those things where your stomach drops and you talk about a baseball game."

The Rangers were expecting another large crowd on Friday with fireworks planned after the game. But Fielder balked at the suggestion the game would provide some sort of "escape" from the events in Dallas.

"This is serious," Fielder said. "It's something you don't want to escape from. You want to handle it. It's something we need to look at and do something about. As a person and a human being, it's not right on either side. The people in charge have to come together and figure it out."

T.R. Sullivan has covered the Rangers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2006. Follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.