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"Lou is not talking about mechanics when he goes out to the mound,"
~Chicago Cubs pitching coach Larry Rothschild

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Preparing for Rita

As Hurricane Rita approaches, things are getting pretty hectic down here in the Lone Star State. I'm sure all of you have seen the evacuations on the news by now. Nobody wants a reoccurance of what happened in New Orleans last month. Before Katrina, most people underestimated the power of a hurricane and did not take them seriously enough. Now, we might have moved to the opposite end of the spectrum. The government issued a pre-hurricane state of emergency, also known as a "cover your ass" state of emergency. I guess they figure it's better to be safe than sorry. Meanwhile, my college town of San Marcos is being flooded with students family members cramping into small aprtments. The drive from Houston which typically takes about two and a half hours, is up to 12 hours.

How does this relate to sports? I'm getting to that. After all, this is a sports website right. If you wanted to know about the hurricane, you'd flip on the news and listen to the sensationalism they are bombarding the public with.

The Astros are on a road trip right now and the Texans have a bye week, so there were no planned sporting events in Houston for this weekend. Although, my D-II school Texas State was scheduled to play against Texas A&M this Saturday. Everyone was excited until the game got pushed to tonight. Now most people can't attend. The Texans next game is on the road, Cincinatti I believe. But the Astros end the season with a 4 game set against the Cubs. Just to be on the cautious side, the organization is already planning alternate places to play the series should Minute Maid Park recieve any damage. Although they'd like to play in a major league stadium, that may not be possible since the Rangers will be at home as well. That means unless they choose to play at Wrigley, and in a wild card race I doubt they will, the next closest MLB park is Kansas City.

GM Tim Purpura has mentioned the possibility of playing at Dell Diamond, the AAA Round Rock team. However, the stadium only holds about 15,000 people. Regardless, that may be more than they could draw in KC or another major league city. And Graham would be thrilled to have the Cubs playing just 20 miles north. Somehow I don't see that factoring into the team's decision.

This could be all for nothing. I think we'll have a nasty storm and some trees and pipelines will fall over. Maybe a little flooding, but nothing that will keep the team from playing here. Let's hope I'm right and finicky citizens fleeing my hometown of Houston are wrong. I wish them the best, but its taking almost 24 hours to get to Dallas right now. You've got to have some serious Ghandi-like patience to sit in that traffic. Not me! Not my parents either. They're staying at home, riding out Rita. Just like they've done in every other hurricane.

In related news, the NBA announced that the New Orleans Hornets will play 35 of their home games in Oklahoma City. OKC has a newly built arena that seats almost 20,000. the remaining 6 home games will be played in Baton Rouge.

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