ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Texas Rangers television broadcaster C.J. Nitkowski tested positive for COVID-19, and the team used a simulcast of its radio network's call on the regional cable telecast for Thursday night's series finale in Houston.
The Rangers said they received notification Thursday of the positive test for Nitkowski, who has been a color analyst for the team's TV broadcasts since 2017. The former major league pitcher and first-round draft pick played for eight different teams between 1995-2005.
Nitkowski had been working only on the broadcast level at the new Rangers ballpark, where all of their broadcasts originated, whether home or away. He had no access to Tier 1 and 2 restricted areas or any other locations at Globe Life Field. The team said the broadcast level, including all broadcast booths, was thoroughly sanitized and disinfected Thursday.
The Rangers began the protocols that are in place for positive COVID-19 tests, and any person who had direct contact with Nitkowski must undergo COVID-19 testing. No individuals will be allowed back into the ballpark without receiving a negative COVID-19 test.
FOX Sports Southwest and the Rangers decided that all broadcast talent and crew who had access to the television booth over the last several days would not work the telecast of the Rangers 2-1 loss in Houston. That included TV play-by-play man Dave Raymond.
The TV broadcast did include the cable network's usual pregame and postgame shows from the Rangers home stadium.
That led to the use of the radio network simulcast with Eric Nadel and Matt Hicks. FOX Sports Southwest expected to resume its television production Friday night at the Los Angeles Angels.
Hicks tested positive for the coronavirus in late July and missed a month of games.