The Texas Rangers begin their AL wild-card series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday, but before that, general manager Chris Young had to get something off his chest regarding a reporter's comments about how the AL West was won.
A 6-1 win over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday helped the Rangers qualify for the postseason for the first time since 2016. If they won again Sunday or were helped by a Houston Astros loss, they would've clinched the AL West division title.
The Rangers celebrated after making the postseason Saturday, even as the division crown was still up for grabs with one game to play. That led to a post on X, formerly Twitter, by MLB.com Astros writer Brian McTaggart, which irked Young.
The Rangers partied last night while the Astros had a champagne toast and quickly turned their attention to Sunday and one more win. Houston's "been-there, done-that" mentality paid off, it seems.
— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) October 1, 2023
"The Rangers partied last night while the Astros had a champagne toast and quickly turned their attention to Sunday and one more win," Taggart wrote. "Houston's 'been-there, done-that' mentality paid off, it seems."
Appearing on 105.3 The Fan on Monday, Young criticized McTaggart, calling the post "pretty poor journalism" and defended his team's playoff celebrations.
“I find it ridiculous that that’s even a subject, honestly,” Young said when asked if he was concerned about how much his team celebrated. “This is the most professional, responsible group of players that I’ve ever been around. We had a very subdued champagne popping, but beyond that, there was no partying. There was nothing outlandish. These guys had earned the right to pop those champagne bottles, and that was the extent of our celebration.
"It had no impact on Sunday's game. It's pretty poor journalism to even suggest that, honestly. I'm very disappointed in the lack of professionalism of the Houston journalist for putting that out there. It's classless, and it's not appropriate, and it's completely fabricated. It's wrong."
The Astros team account on X even got a dig in posting a video of Alex Bregman speaking to his teammates in the locker room after clinching the division, with the caption, "We celebrate titles in Houston."
The Dallas Morning News' Evan Grant reported Saturday that the scene inside the Rangers' clubhouse was not wild, featuring Marcus Semien going "to town on a Chick-Fil-A" and the team watching the end of the Astros-Diamondbacks game.
This is the in-state heat we can get behind just before the playoffs begin. But there is some work for both teams to do in order for them to meet up later this month. The Rangers need to top the Rays and the Baltimore Orioles, while the Astros, who have a bye through the wild-card round, need to take care of business against the winner of the Toronto Blue Jays and Minnesota Twins series before they can face each other in an all-Texas ALCS.