So, the first series with our artificially created natural rival has come and gone and I actually do feel a little bit more hatred. The end result wasn’t unexpected and we’ve seen it over and over the last few years but Bud Selig’s wish may be about to happen. The Rangers flexed their muscle in taking 2 of 3 but to a point, that’s irrelevant. The Astros stood their ground and showed well in 2 of the 3 games and made known they were willing to trade punches with the 2-time defending AL champs. Interestingly enough, the play on the field may not have been the action that turned this into a real rivalry but rather the crowd.
It’s only natural to have some of the Rangers’ fans travel to Houston to watch their club but at times it seemed like we were playing in Arlington. A nice bench clearing brawl is a very nice way to create some hate between teams but another is having fans invade the other’s ballpark. Last season we saw it more often than ever with the Astros in a bad place but this weekend games were packed and I wouldn’t be afraid to say that it was close to a split crowd. That should never happen, even when a popular team invades, but with the Astros rebuilding, it left the door open for this to happen. Nothing is more aggravating than seeing so many opposing teams’ fans showing up to root on their club. Considering the Stros and Rangers will be playing a lot starting next season, the more this happens, the more frustrating it will get for many Astros’ fans.
Unfortunately, until the Astros get good and more fans make the trip to Minute Maid Park along with making a road trip to Arlington the more this will happen. The Rangers are well ahead in the race for Texas but the Astros are on the right track and going full steam ahead. Once the Astros get good and stay good, this will truly take on a rivalry feel to it but until then it can at least build momentum. The insane idea to move the Astros to the AL actually took shape and now we are stuck with the ramifications. So, let’s make the most of it and make life hell on our artificially created rivals that are the Texas freaking Rangers. We’ll learn to hate Josh Hamilton, Elvis Andrus and Neftali Feliz just as we learned to hate Albert Pujols, Chris Carpenter and Jim Edmonds even if we are made to by big brother in Milwaukee.