Mac Engel: Texas Rangers’ Eric Nadel will not be with team on Opening Day to address mental health

Tribune Content Agency

Two days after actor Jason Sudeikis and some of his fellow “Ted Lasso” cast members spoke at the White House on raising awareness about mental health, a long time member of the Texas Rangers announced he is stepping away from the team for this exact reason.

Eric Nadel is taking a break.

Nadel, who began his run as part of the Texas Rangers’ broadcast team in 1979, announced on Wednesday that he will not be with the team when the regular season begins.

Nadel issued the following statement on Wednesday, “As many of you know, for years I have been an advocate for those with mental health issues. I now find myself dealing with anxiety, insomnia and depression which are currently preventing me from doing the job I love. So, I regret to say I will not be in the broadcast booth when the season starts.

“I am receiving treatment as I go through the healing process and encourage others with similar issues to reach out for help.

“I am tremendously grateful to (Rangers radio voices) Matt (Hicks) and Jared (Sandler) for the superb job they are doing in my absence. Rangers’ management has been wonderful to me. I thank them for their concern, kindness and understanding. Rangers’ fans have always given me tremendous support, and I ask for their continued support at this time and in the future.”

Nadel did not respond to a request for further comment.

The Rangers radio broadcasts will be handled with Hicks and Sandler.

The Rangers’ Opening Day is March 30 at home against the Philadelphia Phillies.

For Nadel to take this action is no small measure. It would be hard to find someone who loves the Texas Rangers, and calling games, more than Nadel.

For far too long this sort of thing was pushed under the bleachers, and regarded as a weakness.

All this does is help to normalize mental health awareness, and mental health care. Societally, there has been an emphasis on both in the last several years.

One of recurring themes in the hit Apple TV show “Ted Lasso,” is mental health.

“The big theme of the show is to check in with your neighbor, your coworker, your friends, your family, and ask how they are doing, and listen, sincerely,” Sudeikis told the White House press pool on March 20 at the White House. “You all (reporters) ask questions for a living, but you all listen for a living. So who am I preaching to? The choir, that is.”

“And while it is easier said than done, we also have to know that we shouldn’t be afraid to ask for help ourselves.”

Nadel has been a constant on the Rangers’ broadcast teams since he joined the franchise in 1979. He became the team’s lead radio voice in 1995.

Nadel’s voice is the soundtrack to some of the team’s greatest moments.

Nadel was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. He was inducted into the Texas Rangers Baseball Hall of Fame in 2012. He has received dozens of other awards, too.

In 2014, he received his profession’s highest honor when he was named the Ford C. Frick award winner and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Over the last few years he has taken more games off from baseball’s punishingly long season.

He listened to fellow Baseball Hall of Famers, the late Vin Scully and former Cincinnati Reds radio voice Marty Brennaman; both broadcasters told Nadel that it’s OK to take time off during the season.

Nadel, 71, will return to the booth at some point during this 2023 Texas Rangers season.

He just needs to take care of himself first.