Texas Rangers Take Heat For Not Hosting Houston Amid Harvey Flooding

It seemed likely the Astros would play in nearby Arlington, but they couldn't work out a deal with the Rangers.
Posted at 8:30 PM, Aug 29, 2017

In the wake of Hurricane Harvey's devastation, lots of things in Houston have been put on the back burner, including baseball.

The Houston Astros were supposed to host their in-state rivals, the Texas Rangers, for a three-game series to end August. Given the historic flooding in the area, that obviously won't happen.

Houston's field, Minute Maid Park, wasn't flooded, but it just wouldn't be feasible to get fans to the games.

So the Astros proposed a solution: The Rangers would host the series, since the teams' playing fields are fairly close to each other, and give Houston three of their home games from a later series. But that's not happening.

Astros President Reid Ryan said: "The Rangers wanted us to play the next three days at their place, but they did not want to trade series with us."

As a compromise, the games will be played at the home of the Tampa Bay Rays. But the Rangers have faced a huge amount of criticism for turning down the offer from their fellow Texans.

"On its face, this thing, to me, does not pass the smell test at all," Mike Greenberg said on ESPN.

Lots of columnists took the Rangers to task for the decision, as did Houston pitcher Lance McCullers, who said on Twitter the Rangers "should be absolutely ashamed. Greed never takes off days, apparently."

But the Rangers say they were willing to let Houston play at their home field in Arlington and let the proceeds from the game go to relief efforts. The team's owners also partnered with the Texas Rangers Foundation to donate $1 million to flood relief.

The team just didn't want to give up a home series, which would set up a lengthy late-season road trip and potentially hurt its chances at making the playoffs.

The Rangers also already sold tens of thousands of tickets to the games and worried about inconveniencing the fans who had made plans to attend. But those explanations may not do much to sway the Rangers' critics.