Gov. Abbott declines to throw out first pitch for Rangers opening day

Gov. Greg Abbott said he will not throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Monday afternoon’s Rangers home opener.

The governor sent a letter to the Rangers organization citing Major League Baseball’s decision to perpetuate what he calls false political narratives.

On Friday, MLB announced it would not host the All-Star game or draft in Atlanta because of a new law in the state that restricts voting by mail and gives greater legislative control over how elections are run.

Other large Georgia-based corporations including Delta Air Lines and Coca-Cola have also condemned the law as being too restrictive, although Georgia’s Republican governor insists they have mischaracterized what the law does.

Meanwhile, large businesses such as American Airlines, Microsoft and Dell are challenging similar election changes that are currently under consideration in Texas.

RELATED: More businesses come out against voting bills proposed here in Texas

Last week the Texas Senate passed the GOP-sponsored Senate Bill 7, which adds security measures to Texas’ voting rules.

Democrats argue the bill restricts voting access while Republicans claim it standardizes and clarifies rules on the time and location of early voting and the expansion of access and protections for partisan poll watchers.

Gov. Abbott called MLB’s move to influence partisan politics "shameful."

He said he will no longer participate in any event held by MLB and that the state of Texas will not seek to host the All-Star game or any other MLB special events.

At the same time, Gov. Abbott said he has a deep respect for the Texas Rangers’ baseball organization.

The team will be the first in the country to allow all their seats to be filled since the pandemic began.

RELATED: Rangers fans expected to pack Globe Life Field for home opener Monday

The Rangers said it opted for full capacity when Gov. Greg Abbott lifted restrictions on Texas businesses regarding the number of customers allowed at any one time.

"We waited for one year to open this business with Rangers fans in it. Certainly excited when the governor issued the executive order on March 2 to give us that capability," said Rob Matwick, the Rangers executive vice president of ballpark operations.

The Rangers have not commented on who will throw out the first pitch in Abbott’s absence.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.