The Houston Astros approached the A’s prior to Friday night's matchup and let them know they wanted to boycott the game.
As MLB observed Jackie Robinson Day on Friday, the teams stood in front of their respective dugouts for 42 seconds to honor the former Brooklyn Dodgers icon, then walked off the field to protest the recent shooting of Jacob Blake, a 29-year-old Black man, by Wisconsin police last weekend.
With Friday's game postponed, the A’s and Astros will play a doubleheader Saturday with Chris Bassitt and Frankie Montas starting the games. The first game will begin at 1:10 p.m. PT, A's manager Bob Melvin said after the game.
The WNBA and NBA boycotted their games Wednesday in protest in response to Blake being shot seven times in the back by Wisconsin police. Some MLB teams followed suit and boycotted games as well.
The A’s decided to forego their Thursday night matchup against the Texas Rangers in Arlington and said in a joint statement the reasoning was to “help raise awareness for these social issues, not just tonight, but for our collective future.”
The last time the A’s and Astros faced one another, Ramón Laureano charged at Houston's hitting coach Alex Cintrón after Cintrón made an inappropriate slur toward Laureano about his mother. A bench-clearing brawl ensued and Laureano was initially suspended for six games, which was reduced to four. Cintrón received a 20-game suspension for his part.
However, that wasn’t on their minds Friday.
“Baseball’s a brotherhood, and no more so than right now,” Melvin said. “So no thought about when we played them last time -- just sympathy for the situation and total understanding, like you said, everybody just tipped their caps to each other knowing what’s at stake here tonight and then we get back on the field and play tomorrow.”