It's a big deal that the Astros and Rangers will open the 2013 Major League Baseball season against each another. It's big for the obvious reasons -- it's Opening Day, silly -- but it's especially big for Texans, because it offers the promise of so much more.
There's a time coming when an Astros-Rangers game is going to be a big deal. It'll be a big deal in June and July, but it'll be a really big deal in September when there's a playoff berth on the line for both teams. It'll be a game that gets an entire state's attention, a game that pushes everything else -- that is, football -- to the side.
This is the ticket the Astros punched with their switch to the American League West. They'll play the Rangers 19 times this season, but it's the years ahead -- the important games, the packed houses, a true rivalry born of important games and two teams vying for the love of one state -- that'll make the change worthwhile.