The Texas Rangers aren’t making a lot of friends, let alone fans, these days. While the country rallies around Houston in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Rangers displayed a complete lack of sympathy for the city and its baseball team, the Astros.
The Rangers and Astros, you see, were supposed to play a three-game series this week at Minute Maid Park in Houston. But Houston has been devastated by a massive flood and is literally under water, so there’s no way there was going to baseball played there this week.
So the Astros offered a simple solution to the Rangers: “Let’s play this week’s series at your ballpark across the state in Arlington, and we’ll play the one scheduled for Arlington next month in Houston.”
Seems pretty fair.
“Not going to happen,” the Rangers replied, loosely translated. “Let’s just play both in Arlington.”
As both teams battle for playoff spots in the American League, the Rangers’ solution was neither fair nor had any semblance of sensitivity to the horrific situation in Houston.
So this week’s series was shifted to Tropicana Field in Tampa.
Rangers GM Jon Daniels reasoned that swapping home series with the Astros wouldn’t be fair to Rangers fans who had tickets to the September series. There are also competitive reasons for the Rangers’ refusal, as they were concerned about their travel schedule during the home stretch of the season.
So millions of dollars of donations are being made to Houston and people are risking their lives there to help others in need, but we can’t inconvenience fans who have tickets to a baseball game?
People are beside themselves about the Rangers’ lack of sympathy.
There is now a petition posted on change.org for MLB to change the name of the team from “Texas Rangers” to “Arlington Rangers,” and another demanding the Rangers remove the state flag patch from their uniforms.
MLB itself isn’t looking too good during Harvey’s aftermath, either, not after an article on its website that was critical of the Rangers was edited/rewritten/scrubbed/cleansed. The league does not like when one of its writers – Richard Justice in this case – makes one of its teams look bad. Via Deadspin, here’s part of what the original article said.
“If there’s karma — that is, if the Baseball Gods are paying attention — the Astros will have one kind of week, the Rangers another. At a time when an entire country is pitching in to help Houston, the Rangers decided they were the ones who could not be inconvenienced.”
Unfortunately, Justice’s words have not so far proven prophetic, as the Rangers have won the first two games of the series.
But the Baseball Gods have plenty of time to enact some karma on the Rangers – if it’s even needed. The Astros have the best record in the AL and are 13 games ahead of Texas in the AL West. The Astros are on their way to the playoffs, the Rangers probably not.
For the rest of this season, at least, we’re all Astros fans — and we’re all decidedly against the Rangers.