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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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Tear the Roof Off the Sucker

Just read that the commissioner is insisting that the Astros leave the roof open for their World Series home games unless it's raining.


Sure, baseball should be played outdoors or as close to it as possible, though Minute Maid Park, no matter how far back you peel the ceiling, never feels like it's outside. The reason I'm behind this edict is the reasoning the Astros gave for shutting themselves off from nature earlier in the post-season.

It's noisier this way.

Well, yeah, it probably is. But so what? It's a yahoo tactic, the same kind of progressive thinking that had the mayor of Houston urging his constituents not to wear socks this past weekend (imagine the mayor of New Orleans running for re-election on that platform). Close the roof so our yelling will echo into the visitors' ears? It's down there with Red Auerbach shutting off the hot water in the visitors' locker room in Boston Garden. No, actually, it's worse because “heh-heh, we'll make lotsa noise and spook 'em” isn't baseball. What do the Astros think? That Jon Garland will be called for a delay of game? That A.J. Pierzynski's cadences will be off? Heck, why not just bring out some purty cheerleaders to rile up the crowd?

Cripes, Texans, this is baseball and baseball's world championship. It's not the Baseball Bowl. Make all the noise you want but get over yourselves and your horrendous football mentality.“It holds the noise.” Y'mean like it held Albert Pujols' home run that suddenly shut all of you up?

This brings to mind Moneyball and Chad Bradford suffering a silent meltdown amid a frenzied, sold-out Oakland Coliseum, a house ostensibly cheering in his favor. Billy Beane offered some solid advice that Ozzie and the Sox might want to consider:

When play resumes, fifty-five thousand people rise up and bang and shout, perhaps thinking this will help Chad to settle down.

“Why should noise have any more effect on the hitter than the pitcher? says Billy, a bit testily. “If you're playing away, you just pretend they are cheering for you.”

Or in the case of the Minute Maid throng, the Spring Westfield High School Mustangs.

For a little expansion brethren solidarity among the Mets, the Astros and all the others who have come along since 1961, slide headfirst into Gotham Baseball.

6 comments to Tear the Roof Off the Sucker

  • Anonymous

    Sorry, got to disagree. It's like having the groundkeeper at home make the infield best for your hitters/fielders/whatever. They should keep the roof closed. After all, in 1991 I think we would have won if not having to deal with that god-forsaken Metrodome. Could the commissioner order that demolished and rebuilt as a place where humans can play baseball for the World Series? No? Then let the silly Texans keep their roof closed.

  • Anonymous

    Good to hear from you, John. What have you been up to since that 18-inning game? Home Depot?

  • Anonymous

    I love this site. I just think that there's been something fishy been going on with the umps and MLB regarding some of these games and I'm suspicious of this decision. I'm leaning towards agreeing with the Astros since, first of all, they are behind two game. Second, if the 2nd game had been umped correctly, the 'Stros quite possibly would have won (4 runs on the grand slam in a one run game is no small potatoes). And third and most importantly, homefield advantage means having a homefield that you are used to and the other team is not as used to. Obviously, if the Astros have to play at home under an unaccustomed condition being forced on them by MLB, that is not the same true homefield advantage that the White Sox had.

  • Anonymous

    I think MLB needs to crack down on that Mini-Golf course they call a ballpark in Houston. It's got more tricks and gimmicks than an Enron accountant…ah, that explains it. I assume Kenny Boy keeps his records hidden under than Hill in center, just to the left of the Clown's Mouth. I realize that many ballparks have their Homerun quirks but this Minute Maid joint is indeed a joke. They either need to conform to some sort of logical standard for homeruns (maybe, I don't know, hitting it over a fence is a start) or just add Windmills (OK, oil derricks in Houston) and bonus Bullseyes for extra runs to go all out Bush-league. Yep, the umps got another call wrong but who can blame 'em; that funhouse has more nooks and crannies than Phil Garners face. Never though I'd miss the Astrodome but…

  • Anonymous

    There is something horrifically condescending about the way they built Minute Maid Park. It was an homage to old-timey baseball by people who haven't the foggiest notion of what old-timey baseball was (if there was such a thing to begin with). I don't miss the Astrodome, but they could certainly do some renovations on what another site ( refers to as Dick Cheney Field.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you in theory, but I think if the Angels are allowed to give out inflatable red penises to their fans to help them make noise then MLB has no right to tell any team what they can and can't do to give their fans a boost of competitive advantage. But I'm a Yankee fan so I say if you can't make your own noise you don't deserve a winning team.