Connecting the Skeeters and Astros
Houston sports fans can find all sorts of appreciable connections between the four-team league in Sugar Land and the Houston Astros. For instance, two teams feature former Astros pitchers serving as managers via Greg Swindell and Roger Clemens. Clemens co-manages Team Texas with his son, Kobe—a squad featuring two more of Clemens’ sons, Kacy and Kody, who represent the only two family members to play for the 2020 team. In addition, former Astros’ pitcher Shane Reynold’s son, Ryan, plays in the league. And regarding former Astros pitchers in general, former fireballer Felipe Paulino allegedly plans to participate as well.
Like connections between the Sugar Land Skeeters and Astros, the Atlantic League—the traditional home of
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the Sugar Land Skeeters—features connections with the major leagues. Perhaps no other independent league has garnered more respect from the majors. As evidence of this, the Atlantic League has witnessed a multitude of players go on to suit up—or in some cases, suit up once more—for a major league team. Additionally, MLB shows its professional respect for the Atlantic League through soliciting the independent league’s feedback concerning pilot programs, such as attempts at implementing a computer-called strike zone.
Now, the question becomes—what can MLB glean from an Atlantic League stadium in a bustling Houston suburb safely hosting fans in a new global reality. Indeed, Sugar Land—slightly a decade removed from residents voting to construct a pro baseball stadium—now serves as an unofficial epicenter for MLB’s future decision-making regarding fans reentering major league ballparks.
I leave you with a final note—there was an uplifting, positive vibe of everyone doing their part by responsibly wearing their masks and mindfully keeping their distance from others. Without words, baseball fans were not just rooting for players, they were rooting for each other.
For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s Web site or the Web site for your state’s Department of Health.