ST. PETERSBURG -- Having lived 53 years within the Houston metropolitan area, Rangers manager Jeff Banister has trouble seeing the images and videos surfacing as a result of the destructive path of Hurricane Harvey.The videos disturb in their familiarity -- backdrops Banister has known his whole life are rendered alien
ST. PETERSBURG -- Having lived 53 years within the Houston metropolitan area, Rangers manager Jeff Banister has trouble seeing the images and videos surfacing as a result of the destructive path of Hurricane Harvey.
The videos disturb in their familiarity -- backdrops Banister has known his whole life are rendered alien by several feet of storm water. He's seen a picture of the Ford dealership in Dickinson, Texas, where he bought his truck, now with water risen to the top of the cabs of the trucks on the lot.
But as hard as the visuals are to stomach, the gnawing idea that he's unable to aid the victims is worse.
• TEX-HOU moved to Rays' park; millions donated
"It's gut-wrenching, and you feel hopeless, not being able to do anything that helps out, other than offer prayers and encouraging words," Banister said before the Rangers beat the Astros, 12-2, at Tropicana Field on Tuesday. "It's incredible for me to even wrap my brain around to think of … the devastation and just the amount and volume of water. You can imagine the fear that everybody in that community felt."
One thousand miles away from Houston and playing the Astros in St. Petersburg, the best Banister and his club can do for the hurricane victims at this moment is hope to provide a temporary distraction.
"My wish is that these two clubs go out and play a great brand of baseball," Banister said. "A) respect for the community. B) I do know that sport allows a certain form of escape for certain situations. If any of our fans for either team are able to turn this game on and watch it, get them some momentary relief of what is going on in their life, then I hope that our guys have enough respect, that the effort is where it needs to be and appropriate.
"I would hate for us to think that this is, 'Just go out and go through another day.' Because those people aren't having just another day."
The Rangers' ownership, the team and the Rangers Foundation on Tuesday announced a pledge of $1 million to recovery efforts in South Texas and the Houston area.
Fans can help with relief efforts by visiting YouCaring.com/MLBSupports and donating to the American Red Cross. MLB and the MLB Players Association made a joint $1 million donation for relief efforts yesterday, and all ticket, concessions and parking revenue from this series in St. Petersburg will be donated to relief efforts as well, according to the Rays.
Joey Gallo passed concussion protocol and was in the Rangers' lineup Tuesday, batting fifth and playing left field. Gallo suffered a non-displaced nasal fracture in a collision with teammate Matt Bush while fielding a popup on Aug. 20. He is in the midst of his most productive month of his career in terms of power, with 10 home runs and 18 RBIs.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com based in the Tampa Bay area.