ST. PETERSBURG -- Having made a $1 million donation Tuesday for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the Rangers announced Wednesday that 10 percent of ticket revenue for their weekend series with the Angels in Arlington will also be used to help victims of the storm.The 10 percent to be donated includes
ST. PETERSBURG -- Having made a $1 million donation Tuesday for Hurricane Harvey relief efforts, the Rangers announced Wednesday that 10 percent of ticket revenue for their weekend series with the Angels in Arlington will also be used to help victims of the storm.
The 10 percent to be donated includes revenue generated both by tickets already sold and tickets yet to be sold. Ten percent of all merchandise and concessions sold this weekend will also go to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. The Rangers will hold a donation drive each game at the ballpark for fans to bring items such as water bottles, diapers, blankets, toiletries and hygiene products to go to hurricane victims.
The money raised by the Rangers-Astros series held in St. Petersburg, including revenue from tickets, concessions and parking, is also being donated by the Tampa Bay Rays toward relief efforts.
• Rangers manager Jeff Banister, who has lived in southeast Texas for 53 years, said any arguments about moving the Rangers-Astros series to St. Petersburg miss the mark.
"Really, for me it doesn't really matter right now where or how we got to this point of playing in [Florida]," Banister said. "I don't care. I don't. That shouldn't be what it's about. And for this to be used as some kind of lightning rod for some kind of rivalry, to me I don't know that that's in great taste at all. For any bickering about one team or the other, who's where, right now, should not be the story."
Banister professed his love for the in-state rivalry with the Astros, but said he wouldn't mind his team playing the games wearing T-shirts, logo-free, if it helped emphasize that the hurricane is much more important than any rivalry. He also pleaded that people around the country continue to support the victims in Houston weeks from now even when the focus on television shifts to the next tragedy.
"If we can't just settle down and think about ... digging in for the long term and helping each other out ... shame on us," Banister said. "All of us. We've got a greater chance, a greater opportunity right now as two organizations. Major League Baseball help can really do some great things."
• Cole Hamels' scheduled start for Thursday will be pushed back a day to the series opener with the Angels, with Nick Martinez pitching against the Astros on Thursday instead. Banister said the switch was a matter of how the schedule looks for the rest of the year and how the Rangers match up against it.
• Reliever Jake Diekman pitched on consecutive days for the Double-A Frisco Roughriders on Monday and Tuesday, his last big hurdle to clear before he could be activated by the Major League club. He combined for two innings, three hits, two strikeouts and an unearned run over the back-to-back appearances, and Banister said he expects him to be activated and join the Rangers on Friday.
Diekman has not pitched this year after undergoing three surgeries to remove his colon. The lefty pitched in 66 games for the Rangers last year and posted a 3.40 ERA.
Connor Mount is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Rangers on Wednesday.