The Texas Rangers struck out! Some fans like the Rangers, some don’t! But today there have to be fewer fans of the Rangers than there were yesterday. There are times when current events transcend the sports world. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey’s massive devastation in southeast Texas, the Rangers missed an opportunity to help the Astros, and the city of Houston. This was a colossal mistake and they will pay a heavy price for it.
The Texas Rangers Missed an Opportunity to Help the Houston Astros
The Games Do Matter
Hurricane Harvey has irrefutably left Houston in ruin. However, that doesn’t
necessarily mean you quit playing the games, because the games can
provide a small respite to people in times of crisis. As such, the Astros were
trying to figure out locations to close out what has been an outstanding
season. One of the first steps was an attempt to switch a pair of three-game
series’ with the Rangers, which were scheduled for Houston this week and
Arlington in late September. But the Rangers couldn’t do the right thing. They
decided, instead, that homestands and season ticket holders are more
important than this small act of cooperation in the face of utter devastation.
The Saints Came Marching In
While many cities in southeast Texas have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey,
the destruction in Houston is already on par with that of New Orleans during
Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Then, the Saints were left trying to find places to
play their football season, which left them in a perpetual state of road team.
But they played anyway and it did serve a purpose to the people of New
Orleans, even though they went 3-13. In this case, the Astros are going to be
the American League West Champions and are expected to make a deep run in the
playoffs (Hurricane Harvey disturbances, notwithstanding). Astros fans, on
a daily basis, will have something to look forward to as their Astros play on.
Just a box score, a game summary, or a highlight on their cell phone app will provide a moment of normalcy and happiness.
A Chance for Some Home Games
We do not know what Houston will look like in late September, but we do know
that a chance for some home games is better than no chance at all. If the
Rangers had agreed to the switch, there is a good chance there would have been
three more games for Astros fans to enjoy next month. However, the Rangers
“graciously” only offered to host all the games, now and in September. This
obviously served no purpose for the Astros and the city of Houston (beyond an offer for the Astros to also receive the home team purse). So instead, they will play “home games” against the Rangers at Tropicana Field; the Tampa Bay Rays home field.
Business is Business
The Rangers rationalization was that they had an obligation to fans who bought
tickets for those games in September. They also stated that if they changed
the dates, they would have to play four straight series on the road, starting
in mid-September. But they failed to mention that they do have a final, four-game
homestand against the Oakland Athletics, following the proposed series date changes.
Although left undiscussed, the Rangers are also still in the hunt for a Wild
Card. One can’t help but feel that there is an element of that included in
their decision making. But if so, it is ridiculous, in that there is a seven-team
race for the second Wild Card, they are sixth in that race, and still under
There is No Justification For This Decision
The Rangers can espouse their position, and add any others they choose, but
none of it matters. There is absolutely no way to justify their unwillingness
to swap homestands, given the situation in Houston. One must live in a cave
not to see the ongoing rescue operations of families that are on the verge of
drowning or are leaving their flooded homes. Lives have been lost and more
will be. Houston and its citizens will be recovering from this devastation,
literally, for years. And yet, amidst all this, the Rangers felt it was more
important to protect a three-game home stand late in the season.
The Rangers Struck Out!
The front office is paid to do everything it can to set the team up for
success. But sometimes, you have to look at the big picture and realize that
the circumstances transcend your duties to the team. Honestly, the Rangers would
not have garnered many kudos for agreeing to this small request. No one would
view this as any real sacrifice, compared to what Houston is dealing with. But
they will reap a major backlash because they were unwilling to help the
Astros, and the city of Houston, in their time of need. Thus, the Rangers will
be another victim in the path of Hurricane Harvey…but it will be of their own
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