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 Post subject: The roof
PostPosted: Mon Oct 24, 2005 11:11 pm 
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Wires are reporting that MLB, not the Houston Astros, will decide whether the roof at Minute Maid Park will be open or closed for Game 3 of the World Series.

Even though I'm rooting for Chicago to take this thing, I think MLB's appropriation of the decision stinks and borders on fundamentally unfair. A team has a right to enjoy the home-field advantage its stadium affords. The White Sox probably got some benefit in the first two games from their experience playing in the wind and cold; I say the Astros have every right to close the roof, even if there is no question that they're doing so only to gain a competitive advantage.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 12:33 am 
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I wonder why it occurred to the league to claim that authority in the first place.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 11:52 am 
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ESPN's Jayson Stark wrote:
HOUSTON -- Mankind's desire for shelter goes back to the days of the cave men. But Major League Baseball is sending signals it thinks the Houston Astros' desire for a roof over their heads has gone a little too far.

So commissioner Bud Selig is expected to decide personally that the roof of Minute Maid Park should be open for Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night.

The Astros have kept the retractable roof shut tight for all five of their postseason games over the first two rounds. But during the World Series, it's MLB's call. And MLB officials have told the Astros they prefer the great outdoors -- tropical storms permitting.

"That decision won't be made until [Tuesday]," MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said during Monday's off-day workouts. "We want to take into account what the weather conditions will be at the time. And we want to look into past practices -- what's normally happened in the past. Our understanding is that the policy has been that when it's 80 degrees and warmer, the roof is closed. But when it's cooler, it's open."

The Astros, however, have had a different policy in October: When it's hot, the roof is closed. When it's cold, the roof is closed. And when it's in between, the roof is closed. To their credit, though, they haven't even tried to pretend that was done for any reason other than to increase their home-field advantage.

"Bottom line," said manager Phil Garner on Monday, "is that I think that with it closed, it does generate a lot of noise and it's a lot of fun. And I think that we play for that. We play for that excitement, and that noise -- it helps a little bit."

So how much has it helped? The Astros had the second-best home record in the sport (53-28) this year, trailing only Boston. And they have gone 4-1 at home during this postseason, losing only the game in which Brad Lidge allowed that game-winning two-out homer in the ninth to Albert Pujols in the NLCS.

But their winning percentage when the roof is open is only .577 (15-11) -- versus .684 (39-18) when it's closed (counting the postseason). (There were two other games this year in which the roof was opened during the late innings.)

The roof could wind up staying closed Tuesday for strictly meteorological reasons, however. The weather forecast predicts highs in the lower 70s, but lows in the mid-40s -- which is practically sub-arctic by Houston standards. Warmer conditions are expected for Games 4 and 5. So the whole debate could begin again.

The last time a retractable dome was involved in the World Series, MLB ordered the Diamondbacks to open their roof for all four games in 2001. But Courtney said Selig actually has no particular preference -- other than for consistency.

"Bud just wants to make sure there's a standard of practice involved," Courtney said, "so that what we've done in the past is done now and we're not breaking new ground."


Phillip Blanchard wrote:
I wonder why it occurred to the league to claim that authority in the first place.


My best guess is that Selig is doing this for aesthetic reasons. He probably thinks the game looks better on television with the roof open. I don't buy this "consistency" nonsense for, as Stark points out, the Astros have consistently had the roof closed during the playoffs. There's no reason that "consistency" across the regular season into the playoffs would be of any importance.

Worse things than closing the roof have been done to create home-field advantage. During the 1991 World Series, the Minnesota Twins' head groundskeeper manipulated the Metrodome air conditioning so that the air blew inward when the Atlanta Braves were batting. Although I would probably draw the line at what the Twins did, stadium idiosyncrasies are an age-old and beautiful thing setting baseball apart from other sports, where one venue is much the same as the next.

This is just another case of MLB looking at all of its options, figuring out what would make the most sense to fans, and doing the exact opposite.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 1:41 pm 
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That's why they say it's "roof, roof-roof" for the home team.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 4:17 pm 
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Matthew Grieco wrote:
This is just another case of MLB looking at all of its options, figuring out what would make the most sense to fans, and doing the exact opposite.


But now we can have blimp shots! Think of all the revenue!

Sigh.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 5:13 pm 
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I see that the roof will be closed.

``They had the opportunity to close it in the division series, they had the chance in the championship series, they didn't say anything then,'' shortstop Adam Everett said. ``It surprises me they're saying something now.''

He has a point, I suppose.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:16 pm 
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It's going to be open according to the latest stories I see, Phillip.

The AP wrote:
HOUSTON -- Major League Baseball pulled the roof out from over the Houston Astros' heads.

Over the objections of the Astros, the commissioner's office ordered the roof open at Minute Maid Park for Game 3 of the World Series on Tuesday night and said all games in Houston this week are likely to be played outdoors.

"It is a gorgeous day," baseball commissioner Bud Selig said. "In Milwaukee, you don't get a day like this until July Fourth."

Jimmie Lee Solomon, executive vice president of baseball operations in the commissioner's office, made the announcement on the field about four hours before the scheduled first pitch. It was 71 degrees and the sky was cloudless when Solomon spoke.


I doubt you'll find many people other than the MLB brass and the Chicago White Sox who approve of this decision. A (non-scientific) poll on ESPN showed that 78% of fans believe the decision should be made by the Astros.

Why Selig thinks it's important that he do this is beyond me. Sure, it's a beautiful day, but the people who are going to be there enjoying it are Astros fans, and their team should be trusted with the decision.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:30 pm 
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jjmoney62 wrote:
That's why they say it's "roof, roof-roof" for the home team.


Ahem.


Last edited by Phillip Blanchard on Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:31 pm 
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Matthew Grieco wrote:
I doubt you'll find many people other than the MLB brass and the Chicago White Sox who approve of this decision. A (non-scientific) poll on ESPN showed that 78% of fans believe the decision should be made by the Astros.


Ahem.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Oct 25, 2005 6:32 pm 
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And White Sox fans.


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