Thoughts and prayers to those still dealing with the Harvey aftermath in Houston, and especially for those in the Beaumont / Port Arthur area who have taken on an enormous amount of water the last couple of days and are still flooding as I write this.
As trivial as it may be with the devastation that has surrounded the southeast Texas area, the Rangers have been the focus of a lot of criticism over the last few days as a result of an impactful decision they made regarding their current series with the Astros.
As multiple sources have reported, the Astros, after finding out they’d be unable to play at home due to the flooding, approached the Rangers with a very logical request: We have 3 games at home versus you guys this week which we can’t play at home, and you have 3 games against us in September at your place, can’t we just swap?
Their answer was a resounding no, which resulted in both teams flying from Dallas (yes, that’s right, the Astros were already in Dallas because they couldn’t get to Houston from Los Angeles) to Florida to play in Tampa Bay thanks to the hospitable Rays who have opened their ballpark for this week’s series.
Now, it would be easy to take this at face value as the Rangers denying the request of the Astros just out of spite, but there are factors at play to be considered:
Ticket holders: If the Rangers had agreed to swap series, they would have had a very short time to offer refunds/exchanges to those people with tickets for the series in Arlington in September. That being said, the series in Arlington in September is a Monday-Wednesday series with the Wednesday game being an afternoon game. Those games can’t be anywhere near sold out so I have to imagine they could’ve gotten existing ticket holders to those games squared away between now and the end of the season.
Scheduling: The Rangers are on the road for 9 games before the series against the Astros in September, and have just 4 games left in their season after. If they would’ve swapped, this would’ve meant playing 12 of their last 16 games on the road. That’s not ideal especially for a team who thinks they are capable of being in the Wild Card hunt, but on the other side, you’ve now forced the Astros to be on the road for potentially NINETEEN games if they can’t get the games against the Mets this weekend setup in Houston.
Logistics: Getting a major league ballpark ready to host three games on just a day or so’s notice is no easy task, I understand that. But, the Rays were able to do it, so why couldn’t the Rangers? The Cowboys were able to do it for the Texans, so why couldn’t the Rangers? Also, both the Cowboys and Rays have gone above and beyond basically doing the games for free with all proceeds going to help Harvey victims. The Rangers could’ve done the same.
Ultimately, it’s my opinion that the Rangers made a bad choice here. I understand their reasoning for doing it; they believe it would’ve hurt their team’s chances at the end of the season to lose that home series, but to me, that’s too selfish of a reason to be acceptable. Think about it, if the Rangers had accepted the offer, not only would they have won a little bit of respect from Houston and Astros fans, but it would’ve been a huge emotional boost for the Astros to play in Texas in the wake of this disaster, not to mention the fans that could’ve made the drive up to Arlington to cheer them on during this time instead of having to watch their team play in Florida on television. I’ll side with Lance McCullers on this one:
— Lance McCullers Jr. (@LMcCullers43) August 28, 2017
I’m not expecting much from the Astros this series against the Rangers, but I’ll be damn sure rooting for them to whoop some Rangers’ ass come September 25-27 in Arlington.