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Are the Skeeters the New Astros?

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Cheap tickets. Fun atmosphere. Professional baseball. Creative charitable endeavors. Remember when that used to describe the Astros? That was awhile back. Sure, you can still get $7 tickets to Astros games if you want to sit near the roof out in left field. The atmosphere is fun...when the Yankees are in town. "Professional" is debatable, and we all know the recent mess they have made of their charity work.

Enter the Sugar Land Skeeters. Minor league baseball in the same town as a struggling major league franchise is, in some ways, like the backup quarterback on a struggling football team. It doesn't matter if the backup is Bucky Richardson or Sage Rosenfels; when your main guy is sucking it up, the second best looks pretty damn awesome.

The Skeeters are an unaffiliated minor league team, meaning they're not part of the farm system for a major league ball club. But that doesn't mean they aren't entertaining. They have a fantastic ballpark in Constellation Field, good seats for under $10 and a winning team, and now they are stepping up to the plate (so to speak) to help the Houston Area Women's Center. Remember them?

When the Astros Wives charitable organization was folded, so too was the gala that supported the Women's Center. The Skeeters got creative and put together a dodgeball tournament to support the charity.

The Sugar Land Skeeters announced today that the club will host a dodgeball tournament on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at Constellation Field. A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Houston Area Women's Center and the Fort Bend County Women's Center. These centers are dedicated to providing services and resources to survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

My guess is they won't raise a quarter million bucks like the Astros galas did in recent years, but hey, it's something, and it's more than the Astros were willing to do to help the charity when they decided to shutter the gala.

It's easy to pile on the Astros right now, but they are their own worst enemy and this just pours salt into their open wound. But good for the Skeeters for doing what minor league baseball seems to do best: finding an interesting solution (if only a partial one) to a problem.

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