Following the devastation across Southeast Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey, Rangers GM Jon Daniels was asked by Major League Baseball officials if he would be willing to relocate this week’s series against the Houston Astros to Arlington in exchange for the September series between the two clubs shifting to Houston.
Since then, Daniels has taken fire, including from one fan who responded on Twitter, “Go to hell, JD!”
In defense of Jon Daniels, he did the right thing as a general manager of a Major League Baseball team fighting for its playoff life, and at the end of the day, baseball is a cruel business where players can be traded for less than a cup of coffee.
Three weeks ago, reliever Ernesto Frieri was sold by Daniels to the Seattle Mariners…for a dollar.
Cost of an ” XL Stay-Hot” cup of coffee from 7-Eleven: $1.79.
After two straight AL West crowns, the Rangers are suffering through a miserable season marred by terrible pitching and injuries.
And yet somehow, even with Opening Day starter Yu Darvish being traded to the Dodgers, the Rangers sit only three games behind the Minnesota Twins who currently occupy the second wild card spot.
So while they are within striking distance of the playoffs for a third straight year, there is little room for error in the month-plus remaining this season.
Which brings me to why Daniels made the right call from a strictly baseball perspective.
By shifting this series to St. Petersburg and Tropicana Field – home of the Tampa Bay Rays – Daniels and the Rangers no longer have to play at Minute Maid Park during the regular season, where they are a paltry 3-4.
Tuesday night’s game was evidence of just how good a decision Daniels made. The Rangers anhiliated the Astros 12-2 in front of just over 3,000 fans, taking away the home field advantage the Astros would have enjoyed this week in front of 30,000 plus fans in Houston.
Daniels, 40, has led Texas since October 2005 when he took over for John Hart, who stepped down as GM after four seasons, and has restored a winning tradition that Hart never could.
Since the 2006 season, the Rangers have won back to back AL Penants (2010-11), back to back AL West titles (2015-16) and made the playoffs five times.
So while it might seem cruel and heartless to baseball fans, and Astros fans in particular, as the great Al Davis said, “Just win baby!”
And that’s exactly why Jon Daniels wouldn’t move the games.