When it became clear the Texas Rangers would sever 28-year ties with the Oklahoma City RedHawks and opt for the Nolan Ryan-owned Round Rock Express as the team's Triple-A affiliate, there was plenty of speculation on who might be OKC's new major-league partner. The Milwaukee Brewers, Florida Marlins, Chicago White Sox and others were mentioned. In the end, though, it turned out to be a straight swap.
The RedHawks announced a two-year development contract with the Houston Astros, the former parent club of Round Rock. The Astros lobbied publicly for the RedHawks, one of the more attractive Triple-A options due to the Bricktown Ballpark facilities and crowd support.
Even though we knew it was coming, it's disappointing to see the relationship with the Rangers end, one that has been very good for the RedHawks and their fans. In addition, the word is that the Houston minor-league system isn't in great shape, signaling a likely decline in play at the Brick in the coming years. The good news is that there are a lot of Houston fans in the area, and with Fox Sports televising Astros games locally, we can keep up with the players.
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