The MLB has moved the Houston Astros’ three-game series against the Texas Rangers, which was scheduled to be played at Minute Maid Park in Houston beginning Tuesday, to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL, The Washington Post reports.
Tropical Storm Harvey, which hit coastal Texas as a Category 4 hurricane Friday evening, continues to pour record amounts of rainfall on an already-flooded city of Houston. The storm has driven the city’s sports teams, as well as countless Houston residents, from their homes.
After taking two out of three from the Angels in Anaheim over the weekend, the Astros flew to Dallas Monday, where they awaited word from the MLB regarding the location of their next game.
The league still has yet to make a final decision regarding the location of the Astros series against the Mets, which was scheduled to be played at Minute Maid Park this weekend. The MLB will likely move that series too, though, a source told the Post.
“The safety of our fans, players and staff remain our main priority,” said Astros President Reid Ryan in a statement. “We are extremely grateful to the Tampa Bay Rays organization for allowing us to use their facility. We’ll make a decision on this weekend’s series vs. the Mets in the upcoming days as we continue to monitor the conditions.”
If the Mets-Astros series does not take place in Houston, the Astros, who planned for a three-game road trip when they left Houston for Anaheim Thursday after hosting the Washington Nationals, will be away from home for 19 games, until September 14, according to the Post.
From a baseball perspective, the team might rather be on the road, where they have compiled an impressive record of 42-22 (.656) this year. That mark is six games better than the team’s home record of 37-29 (.561).
The Astros’ overall record of 79-51 is the best in the American League. Despite having gone 19-22 since the All-Star break, the team maintains a 13.5 game lead in the NL West.
But Astros manager A.J. Finch is quick to redirect the focus from baseball to more pressing matters.
“Baseball is secondary right now,” he said Sunday, according to the Post. “Our schedule, our flight times, where we’re going to be, the buses — all that stuff is meaningless compared to what everybody is suffering through.”
Like the Astros, the Houston Texans have been stationed in Dallas since the weekend. They have been practicing at the Cowboys’ facility in Frisco, TX. The Texans were scheduled to host the Cowboys in both teams’ final preseason game Thursday, but the NFL has moved that game to the Cowboys’ home, AT&T Stadium in Arlington.
Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. Eastern Thursday.
Like Finch, though, those within the Texans organization are slow to discuss football and quick to express concern for their friends and relatives in Houston.
“It’s like a punch in the gut,” cornerback Johnathan Joseph said, according to the Houston Chronicle, per the Post. “You want to be back there for your city, your family, of course your kids. They’re obviously young, so they don’t really understand exactly what’s going on so you try to explain to them. Talk to them as much as you can and keep them at ease.”
Led by their owner, Robert McNair, the Texans contributed $1 million to the United Way’s disaster relief efforts, according to the Post. The NFL matched the donation.
Star defensive end J.J. Watt raised over half a million dollars for Harvey online in less than 24 hours. His original goal was $200,000, but he has since upped the target to $1 million. As of 9:09 pm Eastern Monday, the campaign has raised $918,101. Click here to lend your hand in helping the victims of Hurricane Harvey.
The University of Houston football team is currently operating out of UT Austin. They are scheduled to open their season on Saturday, September 2 at the Alamodome in San Antonio against the University of Texas at San Antonio.
LSU and BYU were originally scheduled to face-off at NRG Stadium in Houston in the AdvoCare Texas Kickoff, but that game has been moved to the Superdome in New Orleans, according to Houston’s local ABC station.
Featured Image via Department of Defense