The Runner Sports

Houston Astros’ Travel And Game Plans For The Week; Your Thoughts And Well-Wishes Welcomed

As the city of Houston and surrounding communities withstand the horrific effects of rain, wind, and flooding in the wake, and persistent presence of what was Hurricane Harvey, TRS joins the entire baseball community in offering positive thoughts to the citizens of southeast Texas and Louisiana.

This regularly updated space will be dedicated to the quickly-changing plans of the Houston Astros and other players affected by the severe weather this week, while also providing a space in the comment section below for your thoughts and well-wishes for the Astros players and family members. Feel free to check back often for updates.

Sunday, August 27: The Astros will play the third of three games in Anaheim, CA, at 2:30 (CT), and will fly to Dallas Sunday night following the game. The Astros have a day off Monday, August 28, as do the Texas Rangers, playing in Oakland, Sunday. The Rangers will also fly to Dallas Sunday evening.

Both Houston airports are closed, with the smaller Hobby Airport’s runways completely flooded.

Scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday is a three-game series at Minute Maid Park in downtown Houston with the visiting Rangers. An announcement is expected Monday, regarding that series. As of Sunday afternoon, downtown Houston is crippled by massive flooding.

The A’s come into Anaheim after their Sunday game with the Rangers, for three games with the Angels, followed by games in Seattle. That leaves Oakland’s stadium vacant for the Rangers to stay, and the Astros to fly to out of Anaheim, but logistically, all that may be a nightmare to pull off, all things considered. As of Sunday afternoon, plans are for Texas and Houston to both fly to Dallas from their respective west coast locations.

Sunday, 2:20pm:

This, reported from the visitor’s clubhouse before their afternoon game in Anaheim: “George Springer played ‘Three Little Birds’ by Bob Marley in Astros clubhouse. Trying to keep positive vibes with HOU flooding.” Partial lyrics to “Three Little Birds”:

“Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright;
Singing’ don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright.”

Brian McTaggart (MLB’s Astros beat reporter) tweets that longtime Astros advertiser, Mattress Mack, has opened his Gallery Furniture store for those needing a place to go.

Astro fans encouraging team to re-tweet “Text Harvey to 90999 to donate to the Red Cross.” Good idea for all who can.

ESPN’s Ryan McGee reminds, “Let’s all remember how great the people of Houston were to others after Katrina. They’re going to need the same.”

Related: Astrodome Opens Heart and Doors to Katrina Refugees

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner: “This storm will not break our spirit. We are in this together and we will rebuild even greater together after HurricaneHarvey.”

And, this, from the players and staff in Anaheim: “The Angels Organization would like to send our thoughts & prayers to the people of Houston and all those affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

The good folks in Arlington chime in from Rangers-land: “Our thoughts are with the communities of South Texas and everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

Another country heard from, and the team from Toronto: “The organization sends our thoughts to the city of Houston and everyone affected by Hurricane Harvey.”

Sunday, 5pm (CT): Sports Illustrated tweets that the Texans’  “@JJWatt has started a fundraiser for Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts in Houston. You can donate here: http://YouCaring.com/JJWatt”

From The Red Cross Houston: “For those asking about volunteering for the Red Cross, visit http://RedCross.org  to learn about volunteer ops & to submit an application.”

From the good folks at Houston’s Triple-A Fresno Grizzlies Pacific Coast League affiliate: “Thinking of our friends and family in Houston and Corpus Christi today. Be safe.”

Sunday, 6pm: Reid Ryan, the Astros’ President of Business Operations, re-tweeted this from HoustonFirst: “George R. Brown Convention Ctr. opens as emergency shelter, 713-853-8001. Parking in Tundra, Avenida South & Avenida North garages is free.”

Coming from behind to win 7-5, Astros take one for the folks back home. Manager A.J. Hinch in his postgame tweet: “We played a great game today and won. Proud of our guys. Even more proud of the Houstonians who are battling this relentless storm. Stay safe.”

From the Houston Zoo: “The Zoo will remain closed through tomorrow, Aug. 28. We’re fortunate to report that the animals remain safe and secure.”

Sunday, 7pm: The Cleveland Cavs’ LeBron James tweeted, #Pray4Houston

@Collin_McHugh: “I hope today’s game brought a smile to someone’s face in Houston. Know that every one of us has the city on our hearts & in our prayers.”
Monday, 8am (CT): Astros and Rangers both (but separately) landed in Dallas late Sunday night.
Billboard Magazine (record industry trade publication) is reporting on several musical artists stepping up and offering support to relief organizations and the people of Houston. Included are Drake and country singer Chris Young.
“I have family and friends there, and I’m fairly positive my house down there may have to be torn down as it was in one of the hardest hit areas by wind and flooding,” Young said in a video posted on Twitter. “But that’s the least of my concern. I’m worried about the people there. Like I said, my friends, family, neighbors and I want to help.”
Actor/comedian Kevin Hart is calling on fellow celebrities to help, giving a Twitter shout-out to several: “I’m calling this the Hurricane Harvey Relief Challenge….Lets go @therock, @beyonce@chrisrock, Jay Z, Dave Chappelle, @jerryseinfeild@iamsteveharveytv@justintimberlake#HurricaneHarveyReliefChallenge#prayforhouston …..I am getting a link together now, people. Help me help Houston.”
Monday, 9:30am (CT): He’s gonna make me take back every snide remark I’ve ever made in the general direction of the Rangers, but Dallas Morning News Rangers scribe, Evan Grant has done the legwork that yields this reveal: “MLB venues without home games in somewhat proximity to Texas this week: TB, MIA, STL, ATL.” We await official announcement from MLB. A neutral site remains the most likely scenario, though, for the Rangers/Astros 3-gamer scheduled for Tuesday through Thursday (originally planned for Minute Maid Park).
Monday, 9:45am: MLB on Fox reporter Ken Rosenthal reports that there is a “Strong possibility for #Rangers-#Astros series, per sources: The Trop in St. Pete. Astros’ next home series vs. #Mets could shift to NYC,” and “Moving both series would create 19 straight road games for #Astros. Team packed only for 3. A small concern amid much greater ones.”
Monday, 2:30pm (CT): Joe Musgrove tweeted, “Swing hard.”
J.J. Watt reports his efforts to encourage donations has, thus far, raised over half-a-million dollars.
St. Louis Cardinals’ first baseman, Matt Carpenter (a Galveston native) has pledged $10,000 to Houston’s flood relief for every home run he hits for the remainder of the season. To date, he’s hit 17.
Monday, 3pm (CT): Astros officially announce the 3-game Rangers series will, indeed, be played at the home of the Tampa Bay Rays, Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, FL. Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s games will start at 6:10 ET, with Wednesday’s game nationally televised by ESPN. Thursday’s game will have a 1:10 ET start time. All other normal Astros-related media coverage will not change. It’s possible this weekend’s 3-game set vs the New York Mets will also be at the Trop. That announcement to come later in the week.
Mad props to the Bay Rays, but why not, from one citrus juice-sponsored stadium to another: Tropicana helping out Minute Maid. Coke would help out Pepsi, no?
As for possible shelter…did someone say Astrodome? Has the old gal got one more massive relief effort in her? I bet she’s just waiting to be asked!
Monday, 5pm: Speaking of stadiums, the Astros announced that downtown’s Minute Maid Park is “doing well, with no significant issues.”
In a peek behind the curtain, it’ll be interesting to see if the Astros play, this week, with their “Players Weekend” togs of this past weekend, as they’ve not been able to get to MMP to grab their normal home whites. A solid bet, though, would be that MLB would see to it that “normal” uniforms are overnighted to St. Pete’s…if there’s been time between official announcement and game time. Logistics, of course, that pale in comparison to what the folks back home are being forced to tolerate.
Monday, 5:30pm: That didn’t last long. I’m back to making snide remarks about the Rangers. According to McTaggart, Reid Ryan reported that the Rangers would’ve been happy to host these next three games, but not if they had to trade next month’s Arlington-host series to being in Houston. In other words, the Irving Nine would’ve hosted this week, but only if they could have kept their regularly-scheduled home games next month, as well. Talk about altruism with a catch. Oh well, they probably would’ve charged a “convenience fee,” anyway.
Take whichever side you want on the Rangers/Astros “feud”/debate, but remember our priorities, and read this well-reasoned Bob Nightengale piece from Tuesday’s USA Today.
Tuesday, 6am (CT): Houston Chronicle Astros beat writer Jake Kaplan reports an uneventful arrival of the team into Tampa: “For at least 3 games, and probably six, they’ll play at Tropicana Field.”
Late Monday night, Houston’s ABC-TV affiliate reported that downtown’s George R. Brown Convention Center was over capacity with 7,000 refugees. Some reports have the number at 9,000. Wondering if the Astrodome is still in play as a possible overflow facility.
Tuesday, 9am: Arkansas TV station, KATV (ABC affiliate in Little Rock) is running a disaster relief telethon, and has reportedly raised over $25,000 in under 3 hours.
Tuesday, Noon: Houston Rockets owner, Les Alexander, has kicked in with a mind-boggling $10 million donation to #HoustonFloods.
Tuesday, 2pm (CT): In an inspiring move of generosity, the Tampa Bay Rays have announced that all gate receipts, concessions and parking revenues from the 3-game Rangers/Astros series will be donated to Houston’s Harvey relief efforts. Huge.
2:30pm: While traveling with the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks for a rehab assignment, pitcher Lance McCullers, Jr. took time to tweet this out: “Houston, please continue being safe and strong! The @LMcCullersJrFdn is putting together a plan… https://www.instagram.com/p/BYY6xJfjqjS/
HOUSTON
3:00pm: Even though the Astros are, officially, the home team for the next 3 games, due to familiarity, they’ve chosen the third base side visitor’s clubhouse as their base.
OF George Springer told AT&T SportsNet field reporter, Julia Morales, “Tough to not be able to help; we gotta go play hard. The only thing we can do is play hard for our city.” Not to be overlooked: Springer’s smart to not use the word “win,” keeping undue pressure from his mates. Win or lose, Houston’s citizens, fans, and rescue workers can draw inspiration simply from knowing the guys with the “H” on their hats will be bustin’ it in all three games….with hearts and thoughts directed to the Bayou City.
3:30pm: NBA and NBPA coming up large with joint commitment to donating $1 million to Red Cross, Harvey Relief Fund, and other non-profits helping in relief.
Word is in that the once-Houston-Oilers Tennessee Titans (and owner Amy Adams Strunk, daughter of longtime owner, the late Bud Adams) have donated $1 million to J.J. Watts’ Houston Flood Relief Fund.
Speaking of owners, Jim Crane, the ownership group, and the Astros Foundation are giving $4 million to relief efforts.
Tuesday, 4pm: Is there no end to this man’s massive heart? J.J. Watt’s Relief Fund has now ballooned to $3.25 million, stating a new goal of $4 million. Anyone doubt he’ll get it?
Wednesday, August 30, 7:30am (CT): Watt’s total reaches $5.1 million. New goal: $6 million.
Wednesday, 1:15pm: Watt met his $6 million goal. New goal: $10 million! YouCaring.com/JJWatt
Reid Ryan reports that the Angels, Rangers, and D-Backs have offered their generous support. Ryan also received a text from former Astro, pitcher Scott Feldman, who is offering his donation to YouCaring.com/astrosharvey.
1:45pm: If you’re in the Austin area, please know that the Round Rock Express (AAA affiliate of the Rangers) has announced that they are partnering with @UnitedWayWilco (Williamson County) to host a donation drive at Dell Diamond (the Express’ home stadium) Friday through Sunday, September 1-3. Accepted items are available here: atmilb.com/2wiTmfP
Wed., 2pm: This just in from “Moose,” pitcher Joe Musgrove: “Mark (Dershowitz) has offered 2 donate $25 for each strikeout I record 4 the remainder of season 2 Harveyrelief. I will match his $25. Any other takers?”
Wed., 2:15pm, Here Comes the Cavalry: Astros will return home for their scheduled 3-game series at Minute Maid Park. Originally starting with a Friday night game, the Astros and Mets will play a doubleheader Saturday, September 2, beginning at 1:10pm (CT), with the nightcap starting at 7:10. This frees the Astros to have time, Friday (now an off-day), to check in on their loved ones and property. Sunday’s series finale begins at 1:10.
The Astros players are already discussing their plans to get out in the Houston community, Friday, to help with relief efforts.
Donations of food and other needed supplies will be accepted at the Minute Maid Park gates. Astros players, family, and wives will be greeting fans at the donation points.
The 10,000 Carlos Correa jerseys originally scheduled to be given to fans on Saturday will be donated to the families at the George R. Brown Convention Center shelter, downtown. Amazing. And, the Astros are donating 5,000 tickets to each of the three games this weekend to first responders, volunteers and to evacuees! Nice to have good news flooding in for a change.
Houston mayor, Sylvester Turner: “We feel that the Astros playing this weekend will provide a much-needed boost for our city.” Truer words were never spoken.
Wednesday, 5pm: Singer Gloria Gaynor re-worked the lyrics to her ’70s disco hit, and recorded a brief video of “Texas Will Survive.”
Austin American-Statesman sports columnist, Kirk Bohls reports that Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech, Texas State, SMU, and North Texas University are also sending trucks with donated items.
Thursday, August 31, 7pm (CT): Touchdown. Astros are home in Houston. They’ll check on their respective families and houses, before heading out into the community Friday to help wherever they can.
Watch what they do this weekend; if the season collapses in September in a torrent of losses, or we cruise to the postseason and beyond, this weekend will–when the team touches hearts and souls with their empathy, hard work, and caring–be the benchmark of 2017. In a decade, fans will ask, “Do you remember the 2017 season?” The answer will undoubtedly be, “Sure. Wasn’t it great how they gave so much of themselves to help Houstonians recover from that awful storm?” Win or lose, that’s your team. These are your Houston Astros.
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Brad Kyle

Brad Kyle

Brad Ramone with (L-R) Dee Dee, Johnny, and Joey Ramone, backstage at Houston's Liberty Hall, July, 1977.

Johnny, the Ramones' influential guitarist, who passed away in 2004 at 55, was an avid baseball and New York Yankees fan since childhood. He even once ranked baseball above rock'n'roll in a personal Top 10 List!

Like Johnny, my love for rock is only equaled by my love for baseball and my hometown Houston Astros, present and past!

At TRS, you'll get full Astros coverage, minor league peeks, player profiles, interviews, MLB historical perspective, and maybe a little rock'n'roll!
Brad Kyle