DeShields, who played the first five seasons in the Astros’ organization before joining the Rangers in 2015, posted a lengthy statement on twitter Tuesday morning pleading with fans on both sides to stop pointing fingers for the series being moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
“We want to call each other names and disrespect each other because of what?” DeShields wrote. “We are rivals? That’s so irrelevant right now and at this second I’m pretty disappointed at how people are reacting to this ... This is bigger than baseball.”
DeShields, who is sending supplies to help relief efforts in Corpus Christi where he played for the Double A Hooks and other parts hit hard in South Texas, defended Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and the organization from accusations that they put business over compassion by not switching this week’s road series (originally scheduled for Minute Maid Park in Houston) to a home series at Globe Life Park on short notice. The Astros refused to play as the home team in Arlington (with the revenue going to Houston) this week so the league compromised by sending the series to Florida.
“I’ve seen nothing but class and respect from this organization the minute I got off the phone with J.D. after picking me in the Rule 5 draft and welcoming me with open arms,” DeShields said of the Rangers selecting him in December 2014. “I know without a doubt that this organization is helping right now and has already helped aid the people in Houston and every where in South Texas.”
DeShields, who grew up in Atlanta, said when he first got to Texas as a young professional out of high school, he heard how everything was bigger in the Lone Star State. He challenged fans to live up to the slogan.
“Show me,” he wrote. “Show me we can be bigger people and put our pride aside, respect each other, and try to come together to help one another.”