MLB icon and Hall of Fame pitcher Nolan Ryan has close ties to both the Texas Rangers and the Houston Astros, so this is a special week for him.
In addition to spending nine seasons as an Astro and four as a Ranger over the course of his career, Ryan was also the Rangers' team president before coming back on with the Astros for his current role as an executive advisor.
As such, he has strong feelings about the chance of an ALCS between the two clubs, which could happen if both win their respective ALDS Game 5 matchups on the road this week.
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"I think it would represent a time and place in the game that we haven't seen before obviously," Ryan explained to Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle when asked on Monday. "When they started interleague play, what I had hoped for was a rivalry for the state. "Now that we're in the same division and the possibility of that happening is really exciting because we've seen how the fans have been supportive of that and how involved they get in these games now. I just think it would be real special."
For this 'real special' matchup to happen, the Astros will have to bounce back on Wednesday from their crushing Game 4 loss to the Kansas City Royals, the same day the Rangers will be tasked with avoiding blowing a 2-0 series lead against the Toronto Blue Jays.