Rangers' Jeff Banister discusses flooding in Houston area

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).
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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).

Texas Rangers

Rangers Reaction: Houston needs help with Harvey, not baseball

August 27, 2017 10:34 PM


A quick scroll through Twitter on Sunday revealed a lot of what’s right about where we live — locally, regionally and nationally.

People were sending prayers to the people in Houston and the surrounding areas who are having their lives greatly affected by the ongoing catastrophic flooding caused by the remnants of Hurricane Harvey, that SOB.

Others were using Twitter to call attention to family members who were trapped and in need of rescuing. Some tweets highlighted ordinary citizens using their boats to help folks escape.

Emergency officials were spreading information, some of it so incomprehensible that it boggles the mind. The Houston Police Department actually sent out a tweet asking for volunteers to bring their boats to help with rescues.

Social media can be a great tool.

There were also displays of the bad side, mainly some insensitive loons using tragedy to make a political statement. (Has anyone else noticed how enraged/crazed Keith Olbermann has become? Maybe he’s just trying to sell copies of his new book. Hopefully that’s it.)

No one in Houston has time for that. They also don’t have time for baseball.

Here’s some Rangers Reaction from Sunday and the Texas Rangers’ 8-3 loss to the Oakland A’s.

Texas Rangers manager said that, as of noon Sunday, nothing official has been decided about the status of the series Tuesday-Thursday at Houston (video by Jeff Wilson).


1. When a city is dealing with a once-in-a-lifetime flood, no one has any clear idea of what to do, and that is also what Major League Baseball, the Rangers and the Houston Astros are saying about scheduling for their upcoming series.

Just looking at the images of the flooding and at the weather forecast for the area would suggest there is no way the games will be played in Houston or should be played in Houston.

It’s not just as simple as the two teams trying to get to Minute Maid Park. Someone has to turn on the lights. Employees are needed to make the ballpark operable, to take tickets and direct parking. Fans are needed to watch the teams and pay for the workers. TV crews are needed to broadcast the game.

None of that seems possible or seems like it will be possible for at least several days. The roads that take the Rangers from the airports, which are closed, to the ballpark and to their team hotel are all flooded. And not just 8 or 12 inches of flooding.

A photo on Twitter from the area near the Rangers’ hotel showed a good 12 feet — 12 feet — of flood water at one intersection. That doesn’t just recede with a few hours of sunshine.

But MLB, the Rangers and the Astros are waiting until Monday, an off day for both teams, before making a decision on when to play and where.

Houston should be off the table.

Why even bother toying with the idea of playing games there?

Why draw employees away from where they are needed, at home, or have them attempt to drive on flooded roads to get to the ballpark?

Why try to ask fans to do the same?

The players’ accommodations are toward the top of things to not worry about, but the Rangers still need to be able to get to their hotel safely and be able to eat.

(Forget about hotels being stocked with food. What about grocery stores?)

The Astros still have to be able to drive to the ballpark and care for their homes and families, too.

Both teams will be in Dallas-Fort Worth by Sunday night. They can fly whenever they want and to wherever they need to go. Hotels in any other MLB city would bend over backward to host an MLB team.

If the Astros are worried about the financial loss of three home games against a premier draw, MLB made $9 billion last year. Surely something can be arranged to help pay employees even though there will be no game, to refund tickets and to make sure the Astros don’t lose a ton of money.

The money thing should absolutely be at the top of the list of things to not worry about. If it isn’t, shame on the Astros.

The thing that people often say about hurricanes is at least there is time to prepare, unlike a tornado. No one was able to prepare for what Harvey is doing to Houston, but MLB and the Rangers and Astros should already have prepared multiple contingency plans for their series.

Houston should not be included in any of them. The city, the people, the ballpark employees, they all need to take care of themselves.

Texas Rangers left-hander Cole Hamels said that nothing went right for him Saturday in one of his worst outings of the season (video by Jeff Wilson).


2. The Rangers played a game Sunday, something they might not do for a few days. They will have plenty of time to reflect upon the egg they laid over the weekend at Oakland Coliseum.

They scored seven runs in three games, surrendered 19, and lost three games to the third-worst team in the American League. They lost two games in the wild-card standings and allowed a team to move in front of them.

Teams that consider themselves playoff contenders can’t do that, but the Rangers did after taking three of four from the Los Angeles Angels to move only a game out of the second wild-card spot.

Sunday’s loss was another filled with a missed chance and one critical mistake in the eighth inning.

It’s hard to blame either Mike Napoli or Elvis Andrus for the double play that ended the Rangers’ eighth with them trailing 4-3.

They had the bases loaded with one out when Napoli sent a screamer toward the third-base line. Matt Chapman reached up and snared it, and beat Andrus back to the bag to end the inning. Andrus had taken his normal secondary lead off third and lost the race.

The A’s put the game away against Alex Claudio, though not because of anything he did. The Rangers looked to be out of the inning when Boog Powell hit a grounder to second base, where Rougned Odor fielded it but threw high and wide of Andrus at second base while trying to turn a double play.

Instead of the inning ending, the A’s scored the first of four runs.

That’s not winning baseball. The lineout was bad luck.

The weekend was lost.

The Rangers didn’t look like the sure-fire contender they were only two days ago. 

3. Delino DeShields sat for the first time since Aug. 12, replaced at the top of the lineup by Carlos Gomez. The decision was lost in the pregame briefing with manager Jeff Banister, which was mostly filled with talk of the Houston flooding.

Maybe it was just a day off for DeShields, who despite his youth probably needed one. The decision could have been the old two-days-off-one-game-missed call managers often make.

Gomez, by the way, singled in the eighth and scored the run that made it 4-3. He made a couple of nice catches in center field, too.

But the offense didn’t have the same feel. Maybe it was just the game, under the circumstances facing the Rangers, that didn’t have a good feel.

When the Rangers do play again, Joey Gallo will be available to them after seven days on the concussion list. He’s going to play.

At that point, everyone will know if DeShields was just getting a day off Sunday and will replace Gomez in center field, or if he will be back on the bench for one of those rare pinch-running opportunities.

Even with what happened this weekend, it was a good run for DeShields and a good run for the offense. That has to count for something when it comes to decision time.