Texas Rangers General Manager Chris Young has come to the defense of his team’s celebratory actions following their postseason-clinching victory, describing the controversy as “ridiculous.” Young also criticized a Houston Astros reporter for what he called “poor journalism” and “classless” remarks comparing the two teams’ celebrations.
Young addressed the ongoing debate during an interview on 105.3 The Fan, a day after the Rangers lost their American League West division lead to the Astros on the final day of the season.
Young expressed his disbelief at the controversy, stating, “I find it ridiculous that this is even a topic of discussion. This group of players is one of the most professional and responsible that I’ve ever been around. Our celebration was subdued, with just a bit of champagne popping. There was nothing extravagant or outlandish.”
The Rangers, with a record of 90-72, secured their first postseason appearance since 2016 with a 6-1 victory over the Mariners on Saturday. To clinch the division title, they needed to win on Sunday or rely on an Astros loss (90-72).
However, the situation changed dramatically 24 hours later, with Texas losing 1-0 to Seattle and Houston defeating the Diamondbacks 8-1, awarding the division crown to the Astros. This prompted the Astros to mock the Rangers with multiple posts on their official social media accounts.
One of the Astros’ posts on social media platform X featured the caption, “We celebrate titles in Houston,” accompanied by a video of third baseman Alex Bregman addressing his teammates, saying, “Many were curious about what would happen if the Stros didn’t win the division. I guess we’ll never find out.”
The Astros had displayed a more restrained postgame celebration on Saturday when they secured a postseason spot, as they were still competing with the Rangers for the division title.
Young specifically criticized a social media post by reporter Brian McTaggart, who covers the Astros for MLB.com. McTaggart sparked a social media controversy when he posted on X, “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.”
Young voiced his displeasure, stating, “Suggesting such a thing is very poor journalism. I am highly disappointed in the lack of professionalism displayed by this Houston journalist. It’s an inappropriate and completely fabricated narrative, and it’s simply wrong.”
McTaggart later posted on X, clarifying that he “was not present in the Rangers’ clubhouse on Saturday night and should not have indirectly suggested that their celebration had any impact on their performance on Sunday.”
According to ESPN, the Rangers’ post-victory celebration on Saturday was relatively low-key, with the champagne-soaked locker room tarp being removed within an hour.
Young emphasized, “Our players had earned the right to enjoy that moment with some champagne, and that was the extent of our celebration. It had absolutely no impact on our performance on Sunday.”
Instead of enjoying days of rest and home-field advantage as the No. 2 seed in the American League, the Rangers had to travel to Tampa Bay for a best-of-three series against the Rays, which began with a 4-0 win on Tuesday. Despite spending a total of 159 days in first place during the season, the Rangers lost the division title to the defending World Series champion Astros.
Rangers manager Bruce Bochy acknowledged the disappointment but encouraged his team to refocus as they entered the postseason. He said, “This was a significant game, and naturally, there’s some disappointment. However, once we’re on that plane and realize we’re in the postseason, we need to redirect our focus to what lies ahead.”