[At a recent Astros-Rangers classic … (photo by Ralph Barrera/Amer-Statesman)]

CSTB alum, and continuing night school Phd candidate, Jason Cohen appeared yesterday in the NY Times with a column on the possibilities of a Texas baseball rivalry between Houston and … wherever the Rangers officially call home, off that Nolan Ryan highway divide.  If the NYT paywall gets in your way, you can also read it here at Texas Monthly, with all of the local “jehosophats!” and “tarnations!” left in by Jason’s regional editors.  As Jason sums up the current situation:

The first Lone Star Series game was at the Ballpark in Arlington in June 2001. Excitement was only sort of high. “It’s not like the Yankees-Mets or the Cubs-White Sox,” the Astros star Jeff Bagwell told The Associated Press at the time.

I was there that night, with an extra ticket that the scalpers in the parking lot would only offer me $3 for. “The Rangers are 27 games out!” one argued, inarguably. The Astros, which back then had the better franchise, won in extra innings, but with both teams going 3-3 over the series, the Rangers earned the Silver Boot (a trophy the two teams started playing for in 1992 during spring training) on the basis of aggregate runs scored. Yup, just what Texas likes out of its rivalries — to settle things the way they do in soccer.

Since then, both teams have made it to — and lost in — the World Series, but the Lone Star Series hasn’t gotten much more exciting.