The Texas Rangers Should be the Arlington Rangers
Tragedy brings out the best and worst for everyone. I’ve seen both in the past several days as we weather the storms from Hurricane Harvey. One of the phrases we have heard as naseum is that people have never seen anything like this. I’ve gone through a number of those storms as I have lived in the Houston area for nearly 40 years. People from the site and friends from around the country have checked in to make sure we are doing okay. I appreciate that more than you can know.
We are fine. Most of Houston is okay and we will be okay once the rains stop. Property damage is rough and it will take awhile, but we will ultimately be okay. Sports are supposed to serve as a diversion in times like this. The Astros were supposed to come home for a six game homestand beginning Tuesday. Obviously, that’s not happening. So, much of what happens next has to be put into that context. It’s hard to complain about a baseball game when your home is flooded. There are homes literally across the street from the ballpark and the people in those homes could care less if a baseball game is played there anytime soon.
Reid Ryan, the president of the Astros, approached Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and offered a swap. He proposed the Rangers host the Astros Tuesday through Thursday in exchange for a September road series moving to Houston. The Rangers refused that. In turn, they offered to host the Astros all six games, but allow Houston to be the “home team” in the series this week. Presumably, they would bat last, wear their home colors, and get the gate for the three games. Geez, thanks.
The reasoning for refusing the switch was two-fold. Now, before I go into it, I admit that my emotions might be a bit raw. Astros fans went through this in 2008 and got jobbed by the Hall of Fame commissioner back then. We are stuck in our homes. The storm is still bearing down on us. The first excuse is that fans already bought tickets for the series in September. Okay, that one I will buy. That sucks if you bought a ticket for a key September series and you can’t go. Of course, we will ignore the fans that bought tickets for the series this week, but most of them would need a canoe to get there.
The second excuse is the one that got me. A Rangers fan online even got indignant when the excuse didn’t fly with Astros fans. Apparently, if they swapped series it would mean they would finish the season with a 12 game road trip (before finishing with the Athletics at home). Yeah, that’s a tough finish. Of course, the Astros are in the midst to what amounts to a 19 game road trip (their six home games will be played in Tampa). In 1992, the Astros embarked on a 26 game road trip due to the Republican National Convention using the Astrodome. The Saints spent an entire season in San Antonio following Hurricane Katrina. They accepted their circumstances and in fact grew from that experience. You will excuse me if your paltry would be 12 game trip doesn’t phase me that much.
Still, I get the fact that the Rangers did not cause this situation and I get the argument that they should not be made to suffer because of our misfortune. That’s fine. You no longer get to call yourself the Texas Rangers. Texas is bigger than all of us. This doesn’t mention the fact that most of its residents are suffering one way or another because of this storm. If you don’t want to go on a brutal 12 game road trip late in the year. If that is too big of a sacrifice for you given what others in the state have had to go through then you get to call yourself the Arlington Rangers.
When you refuse to give even a little you don’t get the Texas moniker anymore. I’m sorry, I’m not impressed with the “you get to be the home team in our home ballpark” offer. Sure, your fans will cheer for the”home” team. Sure they will. We’ve heard this all before. In 2008, we were the home team in Milwaukee against the Cubs. It became a defacto two game home series for the Cubs. We wore the home jerseys and had Custom Koozies. We hit in the bottom half of the inning. We came to thousands of heckling fans that poked fun at our situation. You will excuse us if we don’t want to go through that again.
So, again. it is perfectly defensible for you to refuse to help. Yeah, finishing the season with 12 of the last 16 games on the road would be a hardship. It’s not nearly the hardship that you and your fans like to believe that it would be. You would still get 81 home games and 81 road games. However, we get it. You are looking out for ole’ number one. Great. Just make sure to change those jerseys next year to reflect who you really are: the Arlington Rangers.