With the Rangers soaring in first place in the American League West, it'd be a shame for this to be the last season of what has been a 28-season partnership between the Rangers and Oklahoma City's Triple-A franchise.
Texas-Oklahoma City has been a rare grouping of stability in Triple-A, where lately change has been the norm.
Since 2005, nearly half of the major league teams have changed their Triple-A affiliates. Seven teams began new affiliations last year alone.
Texas and Oklahoma City makes sense, for both sides.
For Oklahoma City, the benefits are obvious. Even if St. Louis has more radio affiliates in the state, no team is as readily available on television as much as the Rangers. Texas is by far the closest MLB team to Oklahoma City. Kansas City is the next closest, but the distance is more than 100 miles farther.
The Cardinals are more than twice the distance away of the Rangers.
For Texas, If Nolan Ryan owns or is running the Rangers, Round Rock makes sense for them.
But without that, the benefits are a bit less clear.
Oklahoma City vs. Round Rock distance-wise is nearly a wash. Round Rock is slightly closer, but it's much easier to get flights from Oklahoma City to wherever the Rangers may need a player to go quickly than from the Austin area.
The Rangers have a fanbase in the Austin/Round Rock area. The area is slightly closer to Houston than it is Arlington, but it's clearly going to be a split area. Oklahoma City's an area that the Rangers can continue to grow as a fanbase. There's no one to compete with head-to-head here. Sure, there will always be fans of "national" type teams like the Yankees, Cubs, Red Sox and even Cardinals, but with the right moves, the connection between Texas and Oklahoma City could become even stronger.