ANAHEIM — On Friday, the Angels and Rangers will play the first Major League Baseball game in Texas since Hurricane Harvey made landfall near Houston. For many in the state, a baseball game will offer a dramatic change of pace. A preliminary estimate by the private firm AccuWeather predicted up to $160 billion in total damages from the storm, which would reportedly make it the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
Harvey’s trail of damage missed Arlington and veered to the north and east, but reminders of the storm will be close.
Some Angels players made individual contributions to relief efforts on the Gulf Coast this week. MLB and the MLB Players’ Association announced a joint $1 million donation too. The Rangers said 10 percent of revenue derived from tickets for the three-game series will be donated to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through the Greater Houston Community Foundation, while proceeds from the Rangers’ 50/50 raffle in each game will be donated to the American Red Cross.
Maybe the Angels and Rangers can offer relief by doing what they do best: playing baseball.
“I always go back to this line that I heard in Dead Poets Society,” Manager Mike Scioscia said Wednesday. Robin Williams’ character, John Keating, “said it’s important for us, for people that keep us alive like doctors and lawyers – keep society going. That’s important to keep us alive. But he referred to poetry as why we live. It’s why we’re alive. That’s something you enjoy, something that can drive you. I think that’s what baseball is too.
“What we do on this field is pale in comparison to what all the first responders are doing, all the doctors, all the social workers down in Houston area trying to deal with that tragedy,” Scioscia continued. “But I know that once this clears – and hopefully everybody gets on the path to recovery in Houston – for many Houstonians, baseball’s a big part of their life, as football will be as they start to play football in there in the fall. There is a role for what we do in society, not as important as a lot of things, but the fact that we can do what we love to do and people can be fans of the competition and striving for those championships as we all do, you can see the value of what all these guys do is to society.”
ESCOBAR NEARING RETURN
Yunel Escobar will be the Angels’ everyday third baseman when he rejoins the team this weekend, Scioscia said.
The decision was not clear-cut. Since…