Astros-Rangers series officially moved to Florida

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Major League Baseball just announced that the Astros’ home series vs. the Texas Rangers has been relocated to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida due to the widespread devastation in Houston from Hurricane Harvey. The Astros will be considered the home team and will bat last. The games will have first pitch slated for 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, 7:10 p.m. (ET) on Wednesday and 1:10 p.m. (ET) on Thursday.

Ken Rosenthal reports that the reason the series was not relocated to Arlington, Texas, where both teams are currently located due to flight diversions, is because it would create logistical problems. Specifically, swapping the series with the one scheduled for Texas in late September would result in the Rangers playing four straight series on the road.

No determination has been made regarding the Astros’ scheduled weekend series in Houston vs. the New York Mets. It could be in Florida again or moved to Citi Field in New York. It’s possible that Houston could be ready for the game by this weekend, but baseball officials are doubtful.

11:27 AM: As we mentioned last night, the Astros are scheduled to begin a homestand in Houston on Tuesday evening. Given the historic flooding brought on by Hurricane/Tropical storm Harvey, however, it seems highly unlikely that baseball will be feasible in Houston for several days at least. Sports are obviously of little importance compared to the humanitarian efforts, but a decision does have to be made about it all.

Ken Rosenthal is hearing that at least one possibility involves moving the Rangers-Astros series set for this week to be moved to Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the Rays are on the road. Then, this weekend’s series against the Mets, also scheduled for Houston, could be moved to Citi Field in New York.

That’s obviously not ideal, as it would keep the Astros on the road for what would, in effect, be a 19-game road trip, as their next regularly-scheduled homestand after this week and this weekend is not scheduled to begin until Friday, September 15. One wonders if it wouldn’t be possible for the Astros to simply move their series against the Rangers to the Rangers’ home park in Arlington — both clubs are currently in Dallas awaiting word on were to go — and then swap out the Rangers-Astros series scheduled for Arlington in late September to Houston, which will be in better shape by then. That would give the Astros and Major League Baseball another few days to figure out about this coming weekend as well.

Obviously, of course, there are a lot of logistical issues that go into any of these decisions, but hopefully there will be some clarity as soon as possible.

Marcus Stroman: Blue Jays are “f– terrible”

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Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman strugged in Sunday afternoon’s start against the Red Sox, yielding four runs (three earned) over five innings. He fell to 2-7 with a 5.86 ERA. The Jays dropped three of four games to the Sox in the series and now sit with a 43-52 record heading into the All-Star break.

Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun reports that while Stroman was initially cool, calm, and collected when speaking to the media after the game, he eventually snapped. Stroman was asked by a reporter about breaking into professional baseball with short-season Single-A Vancouver in 2012. Stroman yelled at the reporter, noting that his team had just lost to the Red Sox, and called his team “f– terrible.” Keegan Matheson’s account of the situation lines up with Buffery’s as well.

Prior to the outburst, Stroman had just praised his teammates, saying, “My team picks me up a ton. They pick me up all year. I should be able to pitch better in times like that when my team doesn’t have my back. Because they’ve had my back a ton of times. So, love my guys on my team and like I said, I would go to war with them any day.”

Stroman will have off until Friday, so hopefully the time off helps him clear his mind. It has understandably been a frustrating season in Toronto.