Texas Rangers general manager Jon Daniels defended the club’s stance on its series against the Houston Astros this week after a slew of criticism arose on social media Monday night.
The Rangers’ three-game series with the Astros, which was scheduled Tuesday through Thursday at Minute Maid Park, has been moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., after massive flooding left much of Houston under water.
The Rangers offered to host the series at Globe Life Park where the Astros would play as the home team and earn all the revenue.
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“We were prepared to make the event all about hurricane relief and helping our neighbors. It had nothing to do with looking for a competitive advantage. That’s an inaccurate portrayal,” Daniels said.
The Astros wanted the Rangers to flip this week’s series scheduled for Houston with the three-game series scheduled for Arlington Sept. 25-27. But that would have left Rangers’ ticket holders for those games barely 24 hours to make arrangements to attend games this week.
After the league announced the series was being moved to Florida, Astros president Reid Ryan issued a statement that some took as a veiled shot at the Rangers.
“We went to the Rangers and said ‘hey, let’s switch series. You guys have our home series, we’ll take your home series,’” Ryan said. “They rejected that and didn’t want to do that. The Rangers wanted us to play the next three days at their place, but they did not want to trade series with us. They wanted all six games at their park.”
But the Rangers weren’t trying to force getting three extra games at home, Daniels said. They were concerned simply switching the series would be unfair to their ticket holders.
“We didn’t feel it was right to give our fans 24 hours notice that their tickets in late September were now good this week,” Daniels said. “We were willing to play this series anywhere the Astros and MLB wanted, including here in Arlington.”
Daniels said the site of a baseball game in light of the ongoing natural disaster was not the club’s priority.
“The bigger issue, really the only issue, is what’s going on in South Texas right now,” he said. “People have lost their homes, in some cases their lives. We don’t want to distract from that debating about where a baseball game is played.”