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July 09, 2012

Lightning strike freaks out Rangers

A victory in 13 innings allowed the Rangers to speak a little more loosely about their reaction to the lightning bolt and deafening clap of thunder in the fourth inning that spooked just about everyone at Rangers Ballpark.

Players started running off the field, as did the umpires. The ensuing 46-minute delay allowed the Rangers to view replay after replay and pinpoint the most interesting reactions.

They were especially amused by Twins left fielder Josh Willingham and first-base coach Jerry White, and Rangers catcher Mike Napoli and third baseman Adrian Beltre. Napoli was the first player off the field.

"I don't know really what I was doing," Napoli said. "It just freaked me out, so I just started running to the dugout and went for cover. It was so quick. You see the flash, and then 'bang.' I started running for some odd reason."

Michael Young was at first base. His initial reaction isn't fit to print, though he considered a change of pants during the delay. He saw first-hand what Willingham and White did.

"That was the loudest thunder I've ever heard in my life," Young said. "Willingham hit the deck. He was doing a dirt angel. Jerry White was going bananas. He hid behind the umpire. Adrian had a rocket up his ... . During the delay, we looked at the replay at least 30 times at every possible angle. It was funny seeing everybody's reaction."

Even those lucky enough to be in the dugout were scared.

"I thought I was a spirit," manager Ron Washington said. "I thought I was dead."

-- Jeff Wilson



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