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.