Astros Fans Don't Have Reason To Gripe
by Max Powers, Doc's Sports Senior Writer - 09/15/2008
With the unfortunate events of Hurricane Ike this last weekend the city of Houston has been flipped upside down. Reliant Stadium has been severely damaged and the Texans-Ravens game was postponed and moved to Nov. 9. On a much smaller scale, the Astros series against the Cubs had to be moved to Milwaukee where they will play two of the three games. The third game will be made up on Sept. 29 back in Houston if it has any playoff implications.
I concede this is a great burden for the Astros, since they got no-hit last night and playing in Milwaukee gives a big advantage to the Cubs. It also helps the Brewers in their quest to hold off the Astros, who entered last night on a long winning streak. However, the Brewers have bigger concerns having just been swept by the Phillies, who tied them in the standings last night.
Chat rooms are booming about how this is another baseball conspiracy and how Commissioner Bud Selig is out to get the Astros. That's certainly not the case and if the Houston management had been more proactive in their decision, MLB would not have had to step in at the last moment. Here are some random thoughts on this whole debate:
1) The Astros should have realized that a catastrophic event was about to come and not been so stubborn in their opinion to play the games as soon a Sunday. Warnings were abundant that people who stayed in the region could face death, so how did they expect to play games on Sunday with no power and flooded streets? They would have likely been interfering with the clean-up efforts by playing a game.
2) Houston should have made arrangement with a city in Texas to host games and thus could have kept their home field advantage to a certain degree. (El Paso, Dallas, San Antonio). I assume the Astros would have rather stayed in Texas even thought it may have been in a minor league park.
3) Milwaukee was not just chosen at random, there has been a precedent with it in this past. When Cleveland was snowed in last year, MLB officials moved their series to Milwaukee and at least Miller Park has a roof to be sure that you can get the games in. Milwaukee is where the commissioner's office is located (believe it or not) and thus they have easier access to it.
4) You cannot play three games after the season is completed. That's too much of a burden for the Cubs, who have to be concerned about setting their rotation for the playoffs and cannot risk injury to anyone in meaningless games for them. This also would hurt the Brewers and Phillies if the Cubs did not try at all.
5) Other neutral sites were not as convenient. Chat rooms were full of whiners asking why they chose Milwaukee instead of Atlanta (outdoors), Minneapolis (Vikings games), or Seattle. Seattle could have hosted them but only a moron would suggest that. Do you know how long of a flight that is from Houston? There was a ton of rain across the country last weekend and thus numerous games had to play double headers over the weekend. If both teams were going to travel to a neutral site, one had better damn make sure they got those games in.
In closing when events like this happen, I recommend that teams be more proactive in the future and thus they will be able to dictate the situation instead of the corporate office. Houston was stubborn in their beliefs and held out with unrealistic expectations and it bit them in the butt and thus they will likely fade out come playoff time. Cecil Cooper can whine all he wants to but he will not find any sympathy from this writer. Check out Doc's Sports current baseball packages, as we had just six losing days during the month of July and expect another outstanding October.