For many people, the answer to the question asked in the title is “yes”. However, Major League Baseball might say, “It’s complicated.” My family has roots for the Atlanta Braves, but I suspect other fan bases might resonate with this article. If you’ve watched the fourth game of the National League Championship Series between the Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night, you’ll understand why I’m writing this opinion piece. The series takes place in the shiny new Park Globe Life Field owned by the Texas Rangers. One of the defining features is a retractable 5.5 acre roof with clear panels that allows natural light to shine through when closed. During the fourth game, the Dallas area had very high winds which significantly affected the game. However, the league decided to open (and keep open) the roof. Why was this decision made?
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 15: A general view during the eighth inning between the Los Angeles … [+]
NBC Los Angeles reported that Dodgers asskrug Clayton Kershaw, the starter of the evening, said, “If you have a roof, I don’t know why you don’t close it … It just seems like it’s a little bit crazy enough that You might want to close the roof. “Most of the players, including probably the National League’s Most Valuable Player, Freddie Freeman, tried to see the ball and fought against dust or other particles that flew into their eyes. At one point the camera cut onto Ronald Acuna, an outfield Braves, tried glasses, he never plays with glasses.
Why allow conditions that fundamentally change the game for everyone when the stadium has a roof? The weather forecast from my meteorological colleagues was crystal clear as to what was expected. Here is an excerpt from the weather discussion of the National Weather Service – Fort Worth Office on Thursday morning: “A strong cold front will move through north and central Texas later in the morning, bringing gusty northeast winds and increased cloud cover to large parts of the region. and light showers or drizzle in our eastern counties. “Sustained winds were expected to be 20 miles per hour with periodic gusts as high as 30 miles per hour. By the way, 9 more mph and gusts would have been in the area used for tropical storms.
The strong cold front that passed through Texas on October 15, 2020
Cold fronts are boundaries between a warmer and a colder air mass in order to replace them. Even fourth graders know that a strong cold front can dramatically lower temperatures and raise winds. The National Weather Service had a wind advisory for parts of the region, but not for the Dallas Metroplex. However, they cautioned of the possibility with the following statement: “It would not be a surprise if some locations briefly met the advisory criteria (sustained wind or frequent gusts above 25 MPH), but outside it would likely be short-lived regardless of where Advisory is in effect … Regardless of the actual advisory status, it will be quite windy in large parts of the CWA after the frontal passage. “They ended the statement advising people in the Dallas area to secure loose items.
Los Angeles Times reporter Jorge Castillo covers the Dodgers. He tweeted Thursday night: “I was told that MLB wants these games to be played with the roof open unless it rains. Having fans here during a pandemic is another factor (preferably outdoors).” Ok I am concerned about coronavirus and the need for better ventilation when fans are around. Virus numbers are increasing again in the USA. However, it could be argued that maybe fans shouldn’t be there in the first place. They played in stadiums without fans all season. However, this is an argument for someone else. I’m sure there are baseball purists out there who don’t like rooftop stadiums and who get along well with the wind element of the game. However, if players on both teams complained, MLB shouldn’t listen to the concerns.
The “hot mess” of this incident actually reminds me of the opening day in 2015. The Miami Marlins Stadium had a retractable roof, but it didn’t close. Rain hampered the game and made for a miserable experience for the fans. Retractable roofs in stadiums are supposed to mitigate the effects of the weather on the game and fans, but I assume that in a pandemic everything is normal.
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – OCTOBER 15: Fans stand for the national anthem before the fourth game of the … [+]