Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that the team is praying and feeling for the people of Houston, which is being ravaged by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com
Texas Rangers manager Jeff Banister said that the team is praying and feeling for the people of Houston, which is being ravaged by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey (video by Jeff Wilson). Jeff Wilson jwilson@star-telegram.com

Texas Rangers

Rangers concerned with city of Houston, not playing there

August 27, 2017 06:47 PM

UPDATED August 27, 2017 07:00 PM

OAKLAND, Calif.

Jeff Banister grew up in La Marque, only a few miles from Galveston Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. He made a home with his wife and kids in League City, a few more miles inland up I-45.

The Texas Rangers manager is a veteran of tropical storms, having ridden out some of the notables ones like Hurricane Alicia, Tropical Storm Allison and Tropical Storm Claudette. He has many family members trying to ride out what was Hurricane Harvey.

But when the TV in the tiny visiting manager’s office at Oakland Coliseum was showing videos and images Sunday from Houston, where the remnants of Harvey are causing a 500-year flood, Banister looked on in dismay.

Talking baseball was uncomfortable. Thinking of playing games Tuesday through Thursday at Minute Maid Park was unimportant and unfathomable.

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At this point, it’s looking impossible.

The Rangers were forced to fly home after falling 8-3 Sunday to complete Oakland’s three-game sweep rather than travel to Houston for a Monday off day ahead of their three-game series against the Astros. There was no official word on when or where the games would be played.

“For everyone in the Houston community to have to go through this, and we see the challenge, it breaks your heart to see some of the video and know what lies in front of those people,” Banister said.

“It kind of puts what we do in huge perspective and really in the back of our minds. In the front of our minds is what they’re going through and praying for the best for all of them.”

The only word given by the Rangers was that they were headed home to monitor the situation. The club has been in regular communication with Major League Baseball and the Astros, and multiple contingency plans have been formulated.

The Astros, who played this weekend at Anaheim, were also flying to the Metroplex to await a decision.

One scenario includes the Tuesday game being postponed but then cramming three games into two days at Minute Maid on Wednesday and Thursday. A source said that there have been no formal discussions about moving the series to another city, like St. Louis or Miami.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, there was no way to drive to Minute Maid Park from William P. Hobby Airport or Bush Intercontinental Airport and from the team hotel. Bush is tentatively closed until noon Monday, and Hobby is closed until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Flipping the series to Globe Life Park isn’t as simple as it seems with concerns about the weather in Arlington and with the logistical complications of staffing games on short notice and getting fans to rearrange their schedules to come to the games.

Resolution will likely come Monday.

“Obviously the primary concern at this time is the welfare and safety of the residents of the Houston area and South Texas who are dealing with a catastrophic weather situation,” general manager Jon Daniels said in a statement. “The thoughts of our entire organization are with those individuals to be safe.

“We have been in continuous contact with the Astros and Major League Baseball regarding travel tonight and the status of this week’s series. We will continue to talk throughout the day to get updates on the situation.”

Rangers pitching coach Doug Brocail lives in Missouri City to the southwest of Houston. He said that two ponds near his home are going to crest.

He was also a member of the 2008 Astros team that had two games against the Chicago Cubs moved to Milwaukee because of Hurricane Ike.

He remembers Ike was a Category 2 storm, and Houston still flooded. Harvey made landfall Friday night between Port Aransas and Port O’Connor as a Category 4 storm.

First baseman Mike Napoli, born and raised near Miami, remembers his family riding out Hurricane Andrew in August 1992. His step-father made shutters, and Napoli was on the work crew that helped board up houses in the days leading up to one of the most catastrophic storms in U.S. history.

“It’s pretty scary,” he said. “You’re helpless. You’re hoping it doesn’t get bad.”

Right-hander Nick Martinez, also from the Miami area, was only 2 when Andrew hit, but he remembers the effects the 2005 double whammy of Hurricane Katrina, before it hit New Orleans, and Hurricane Wilma two months later.

“It can be scary if you’re not prepared. It’s a life-threatening situation,” Martinez said. “I pray for anyone who is being hit in South Texas.”

Banister, the veteran of many hurricanes over many years, said that people affected by the storm need time to deal with its impact.

“It’s gut-wrenching,” said Banister, who has several family members dealing with the storm. “This is not a situation where you put baseball in front of what’s important to these people. This is no issue for us. Think about these people, their families and what they are going through.”

Jeff Wilson: 817-390-7760, @JeffWilson_FWST

AL wild-card standings

Team

Games back

x-NY Yankees

+3.5

x-Minnesota

LA Angels

1.5

Seattle

1.5

Baltimore

2

Kansas City

2.5

Tampa Bay

3

Texas

3

Note: Top two teams, marked with x, would make the playoffs if season ended today.

Texas

010

010

010

3

8

1

Oakland

030

001

04x

8

12

2

Texas AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Gomez cf

5

1

1

0

0

2

.248

Choo rf

4

1

1

1

0

2

.262

Andrus ss

4

0

1

1

0

1

.298

Beltre dh

4

1

2

0

0

1

.311

Mazara lf

3

0

1

0

1

0

.257

Napoli 1b

4

0

0

0

0

0

.197

Odor 2b

4

0

0

0

0

2

.215

Chirinos c

4

0

1

0

0

0

.255

Robinson 3b

4

0

1

0

0

1

.237

Totals 36

3

8

2

1

9

Oakland AB

R

H

BI

BB

SO

Avg.

Powell cf

5

1

0

0

0

2

.270

Semien ss

3

1

1

3

2

0

.258

Lowrie 2b

1

0

0

0

2

0

.269

Canha lf

2

0

0

0

0

1

.209

Davis dh

4

0

1

1

1

2

.235

Joyce lf-rf

5

1

1

0

0

1

.234

Pinder rf-2b

4

0

1

0

0

0

.249

Olson 1b

4

2

3

2

0

1

.255

Chapman 3b

4

3

3

1

0

0

.244

Maxwell c

4

0

2

0

0

1

.231

Totals 36

8

12

7

5

8

E—Odor (16), Lowrie (5), Chapman (8). LOB—Texas 7, Oakland 9. 2B—Beltre 2 (20), Maxwell (8). HR—Choo (16), off Cotton; Olson (9), off Griffin; Chapman (10), off Griffin. RBIs—Choo (59), Andrus (67), Semien 3 (25), Davis (91), Olson 2 (19), Chapman (27). SB—Semien 2 (9). Runners left in scoring position—Texas 3 (Chirinos, Robinson 2); Oakland 3 (Lowrie 2, Pinder). RISP—Texas 1 for 8; Oakland 2 for 12. Runners moved up—Mazara, Choo. LIDP—Napoli. GIDP—Pinder. DP—Texas 1 (Claudio, Odor, Napoli); Oakland 1 (Chapman).

Texas

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Griffin, L, 6-5

3 1/3

5

3

3

3

3

78

5.26

Bibens-Dirkx

1 2/3

3

1

1

1

1

30

4.99

Leclerc

1

0

0

0

1

1

22

3.40

Claudio

1 1/3

2

3

1

0

1

23

2.56

Rodriguez

 2/3

2

1

1

0

2

18

3.18

Oakland

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

NP

ERA

Cotton, W, 7-10

6

4

2

1

0

9

103

5.40

Coulombe, H, 11

1

0

0

0

0

0

11

3.57

Hatcher, H, 6

 1/3

3

1

1

1

0

13

4.40

Treinen, S, 10-15

1 2/3

1

0

0

0

0

18

4.30

Bibens-Dirkx pitched to 2 batters in the 6th. Leclerc pitched to 1 batter in the 7th. Inherited runners-scored—Bibens-Dirkx 2-0, Leclerc 2-1, Claudio 1-0, Rodriguez 2-2, Treinen 3-0. WP—Cotton. PB—Maxwell (3).Umpires—Home, Eric Cooper; First, Roberto Ortiz; Second, Lance Barksdale; Third, Dan Iassogna. T—3:20. A—16,335 (37,090).

Rangers at Astros

7 p.m. Tuesday, FSSW