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Chris Woodward addresses Rangers’ Fortnite policy

In a sign of the changing dynamics of the MLB clubhouse, Texas Rangers manager Chris Woodward discussed this week how the team intends to address the time-wasting devotion to “Fortnite,” video games and other technologically driven distractions.

Woodward declined to specifically lay out the team’s clubhouse policy regarding “Fortnite” and the like, as there is not yet one in place. The skipper did mention, however, that the team addressed such issues during spring training.

“When we met at the start of spring training, I challenged them in a way to say: If you guys are more concerned about playing video games than becoming champions, that’s on you guys,” Woodward said, via SportsDay. “It’s not a difficult thing to address when you put in that light. What’s more important to you: Your teammates and us winning a championship or you becoming a better Fortnite player? I fully expect our players to police themselves. Anything that goes overboard, I’ll address.”

Woodward added he hopes the players will do a good job of policing the clubhouse and ultimately handle things themselves if an issue should arise concerning such matters.

The issue of “Fortnite” specifically became a talking point this week after a report alleged that Cleveland Indians designated hitter Carlos Santana, then with the Philadelphia Phillies, smashed a television after discovering teammates were playing the video game in the clubhouse during a game.

Teams clearly now feel the need to enact specific policies about video games in the clubhouse, with Toronto Blues manager Charlie Montoyo indicating the team has enacted a pregame curfew on them.

It goes without saying that “Fortnite” is a tremendously popular game and those who play it, including many professional athletes, devote an inordinate amount of time to gameplay.

While the notion that teams feel compelled to specifically address “Fortnite” obsession among players may seem a bit over the top, the case can be made that the widespread popularity of the game has left them with few other options.