HOUSTON -- While they prepare for their next series against the Rangers, which was moved to the home ballpark of the Rays in St. Petersburg, the Astros' thoughts are with their families and fans who have been affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.Astros manager A.J. Hinch, appearing on MLB Network on
HOUSTON -- While they prepare for their next series against the Rangers, which was moved to the home ballpark of the Rays in St. Petersburg, the Astros' thoughts are with their families and fans who have been affected by Tropical Storm Harvey.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch, appearing on MLB Network on Monday afternoon, said it's been a "helpless" feeling watching the devastating floods in Houston while the team is on the road. Both major airports in Houston are closed and many streets and freeways are impassable after Harvey dumped more than two feet of rain in the area over the last three days, flooding thousands of homes.
The Astros took two of three from the Angels over the week in Anaheim and flew to Dallas after the game to await their next move, which was announced by Major League Baseball on Monday. The game times for the series vs. Texas will be 6:10 p.m. CT on Tuesday and Wednesday, and 12:10 CT on Thursday. In addition to announcing the change of venue and game times, MLB added that Houston's weekend series vs. the Mets could also be moved.
Fans wishing to attend the Rangers-Astros games at Tropicana Field can visit raysbaseball.com/tickets. And those with tickets to the Rangers series that had been scheduled at Minute Maid Park may visit astros.com/postponement for information regarding their options for future games or refunds.
As for relief efforts, the Astros will raise money for the victims of the storm by committing the proceeds from the Share2Care 50/50 raffle for the remainder of the season to the American Red Cross. Additionally, MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association announced Monday that the parties will jointly donate $1 million to various relief efforts for the damage throughout the state of Texas created by Tropical Storm Harvey, including to the American Red Cross.
Hinch and the Astros, meanwhile, are still trying to process everything that has happened, which is proving a tall order given the circumstances.
"We talk about games all the time and get caught up in the schedule of baseball and something like this happens and it puts it all in perspective," Hinch said while appearing in The Rundown. "We've got about a third of our families with us. People went to California to soak up some of the sun and enjoy the series against the Angels, and so they've been with us. But the other two-thirds of our families are back in Houston, and there's a lot that are stranded.
"They're all safe, which is the most important part, and there's a lot of people in Houston who aren't safe. It's a very bizarre time for our team, for our city, and it's very sentimental and meaningful to all of us who have our eyes glued on The Weather Channel and some of the pictures and the photos. It's heart-wrenching."
Hinch said the players are holding up well as they can and checking in with their families and making sure everybody is OK. The players live in different parts in and around the city and surrounding areas, so their families have had a wide range of experiences with the storm.
"There's stories in the last couple of days of players checking in and FaceTiming with their families and seeing the water close to their homes and their apartments and they're locked in with kids in apartments and can't move," he said. "Jose Altuve, as an example, came up to me yesterday and said, 'A.J., how many days do I have to play with this on my heart?' And I told him, 'I don't know.' His baby is home and they're in the house and they're safe, but there's nowhere for them to go and nowhere for them to escape.
"It's really hard for our players, hard for our citizens of Houston."
The Astros are now facing the possibility of playing 18 consecutive games away from home. Following the scheduled six-game homestand against the Rangers and Mets, they have a nine-game West Coast road trip to Seattle, Oakland and Anaheim. That would mean 25 of their final 34 games would be played away from home.
In 2008, the Astros were surging toward a playoff berth when Hurricane Ike hit the area and forced them to move two games of series against the Cubs to Miller Park in Milwaukee.
For now, Hinch said the Astros' thoughts are in Houston, even if the club is physically not.
"You have an incredible amount of guilt that we were in the sun and playing baseball and it's a game," he said. "Obviously, we care about that and it's really important. We're having such a fun season and wonderful season, but to put that in perspective, when you call home and hear your daughter crying about the rain and, 'When is it going to stop?', it's real life.
"And when see you pictures of places that you go -- in The Heights, where a lot of the players go and hang out, there's water up to the streetlights. That's 10 or 12 or 15 feet of water. It's surreal and it doesn't look real, and I've never seen anything like it. It's hard to comprehend."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.