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San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler said he will skip the national anthem in protest until “I feel better about the direction of our country,” after the shooting at an elementary school in Texas. Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

CINCINNATI — San Francisco Giants Manager Gabe Kapler said Friday he will refuse to take the field for the national anthem in a protest over the nation’s political direction following this week’s school shooting in Texas.

“I don’t plan on coming out for the anthem going forward until I feel better about the direction of our country,” Kapler said before a series opener at Cincinnati. “I don’t expect it to move the needle necessarily. It’s just something that I feel strongly enough about to take that step.”

Kapler said he needs more time to consider specific actions he might suggest be taken to prevent more tragedies of this type, such as stronger gun control laws.

Earlier in the day, he used his personal blog to discuss the deaths of 19 children and two teachers during the shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

In a post titled “Home of the Brave,” Kapler wrote: “We elect our politicians to represent our interests. Immediately following this shooting, we were told we needed locked doors and armed teachers. We were given thoughts and prayers. We were told it could have been worse, and we just need love.

“But we weren’t given bravery, and we aren’t free. The police on the scene put a mother in handcuffs as she begged them to go in and save her children. They blocked parents trying to organize to charge in to stop the shooter, including a father who learned his daughter was murdered while he argued with the cops. We aren’t free when politicians decide that the lobbyist and gun industries are more important than our children’s freedom to go to school without needing bulletproof backpacks and active shooter drills.”


Kapler went on the write: “Every time I place my hand over my heart and remove my hat, I’m participating in a self congratulatory glorification of the only country where these mass shootings take place. On Wednesday, I walked out onto the field, I listened to the announcement as we honored the victims in Uvalde. I bowed my head. I stood for the national anthem. Metallica riffed on City Connect guitars. My brain said drop to a knee; my body didn’t listen. I wanted to walk back inside; instead I froze. I felt like a coward. I didn’t want to call attention to myself. I didn’t want to take away from the victims or their families. …

“But I am not OK with the state of this country. I wish I hadn’t let my discomfort compromise my integrity. I wish that I could have demonstrated what I learned from my dad, that when you’re dissatisfied with your country, you let it be known through protest.”

Kapler’s comments came a day after the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays used their social media accounts during the game between the teams to spread information about how gun violence affects American life.

ANGELS: Los Angeles superstar Shohei Ohtani was out of the lineup Friday night against the Toronto Blue Jays with back soreness, and teammate Anthony Rendon sat with a right wrist issue.

Manager Joe Maddon said the reigning AL MVP was available off the bench as a pinch-hitter. Maddon also said it was likely that Ohtani would be back in the designated hitter spot for Saturday night’s game.

The Japanese two-way sensation said after Thursday night’s 6-3 loss that he felt a twinge in his back after throwing a pitch during the first inning. Trainers started working on him after the third inning, when they noticed Ohtani was stretching differently on the mound between pitches.


REDS-GIANTS ALTERCATION: Cincinnati outfielder Tommy Pham and San Francisco outfielder Joc Pederson were involved in a brief altercation before Friday’s series opener at Great American Ball Park.

While the Giants were warming up in the outfield, Pham confronted Pederson in the outfield during pregame warmups. The pair quickly were separated and no punches were thrown.

The incident was witnessed by reporters and occurred before fans entered the ballpark.

“We’re investigating it and learning as much as we can about the incident,” Giants Manager Gabe Kapler said. “We’re taking it very seriously. Until we have a clear understanding of what happened, not willing to discuss it.”

DODGERS: Gil Hodges, who helped the Dodgers win World Series titles in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, will have his No. 14 jersey retired.

The pregame ceremony will take place on June 4, when the New York Mets visit Dodger Stadium. Hodges played his final two seasons with the Mets in 1962 and ’63. His 96-year-old widow, Joan, still lives in Brooklyn.


He joins Walter Alston, Roy Campanella, Don Drysdale, Jim Gilliam, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Don Sutton and Pee Wee Reese among Dodgers players and managers to have their numbers retired in left field.

Hodges will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame on July 24. He was voted in by the veterans committee.

• Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts missed Friday night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks to attend his daughter’s high school graduation in Southern California.

Bench coach Bob Geren managed the team Friday. Roberts – in his seventh season managing the Dodgers – is expected to return Saturday.

The Dodgers are coming off a 14-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Thursday. Los Angeles has the best record in the National League with a 30-14 mark. They were the second team to hit the 30-win mark this season, joining the New York Yankees.

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL told its clubs that some are failing to provide acceptable work accommodations for female employees, calling them “embarrassingly below” standard.


The May 20 memorandum from Michael Hill, the MLB senior vice president for on-field operations, asks teams to provide documentation by June 3 of the facilities for home and visiting female coaches and staff. Hill told teams to comply with MLB regulations “as soon as possible.”

The memo was first reported by ESPN and was obtained by The Associated Press.

San Francisco Giants assistant coach Alyssa Nakken this year became the first woman hired as an on-field coach of a major league teams.

Kim Ng became the first woman general manager ahead of the 2021 season when she was hired by the Miami Marlins. Several other women are part of high-level baseball operations staff and use areas in and around clubhouses.

METS: Reliever Yoan López had his three-game suspension cut to one game and was set to serve the penalty Friday night when New York played the Philadelphia Phillies.

López was recalled from Triple-A Syracuse before the game and had to immediately sit out.


Mets Manager Buck Showalter said the suspension had been reduced. López had appealed after Major League Baseball ruled that he intentionally threw at Phillies slugger Kyle Schwarber on May 1, an inning after Mets star Francisco Lindor was hit by a pitch.

YANKEES: Josh Donaldson was placed on the 10-day injured list due to right shoulder inflammation.

New York made the move retroactive to May 24. The 36-year-old third baseman had been on the COVID-19 injured list and has not played since Sunday.

Because the COVID-19 list does not count against the 40-man roster, the Yankees opened a roster spot by tranferring Chad Green to the 60-day injured list.

Donaldson was sidelined by right shoulder inflammation while with Toronto from April 11 to May 3, 2018.

POSTPONEMENTS: The game between the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals was postponed due to severe storms forecast for the Washington area.

The game will made up at 12:05 p.m. Saturday as part of split doubleheader. Saturday’s originally scheduled game was moved from 4:05 to 6:05 p.m.

• The game between the Cleveland Guardians and Detroit Tigers was postponed due to inclement weather.

It will be made up as part of a split doubleheader on July 4 at 6:40 p.m. The originally scheduled game will begin at 1:10 p.m.

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