Rougned Eats Free; Heim BBQ: Offer Stands As Rangers, Blue Jays Square Meet in Playoffs

There will be no lack of excitement or drama when the Rangers and Blue Jays square off in the American League Division Series.

The two teams are embroiled in what has quickly become one of the most heated rivalries in baseball.

And that rivalry involves barbecue.

A year ago, the Blue Jays knocked the Rangers out of the playoffs with a Game 5 win that was sealed by a home run and monster bat flip from Toronto outfielder Jose Bautista.

Earlier this season, Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor decked Bautista in the face during a game, after Bautista slid hard into second base.

After that game, Heim BBQ in Fort Worth made international headlines when it offered Odor free barbecue for life.

Owner Travis Heim said it was meant to be a light-hearted gesture — so he was surprised when he started getting not-so-nice voice messages from Blue Jays fans. He said some even took it a step further, writing negative reviews of his restaurant on various online sites.

Heim, however, has taken it all in stride. He even began selling t-shirts that say "Rougned Eats Free." They've been such hot sellers ahead of the ALDS, he's had to order more.

"Especially for us, you know, it's just kind of fun because we got linked that whole incident," said Heim, who is a lifelong Rangers fan. "It's been really neat."

He's confident the Rangers will win this latest battle with the Blue Jays and advance to the next round of the playoffs, but expects Toronto to give them a fight.

"The Blue Jays are a good team," said Heim. "A part of me is sad we're not playing the Orioles, but it's gonna be fun. And it'll be a great series."

As for whether Odor has taken him up on his offer — he still hasn't been to the restaurant. But Heim says the offer still stands.

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