The fans have spoken, and it appears that Reid Ryan is listening.
Unfortunately for Astros’ fans we are not talking about Comcast, George Springer, Mark Appel, or any additions to the payroll and change in philosophy that will make Houston more competitive. This issue pails in comparison to the aforementioned topics as it will probably not impact the standings.
But to the fans, it is important. To Ryan, that matters and the team president is trying to do something about it for 2014.
Not since 2005 have the Astros opened the roof to Minute Maid Park during games. What has transpired, is that even though Minute Maid Park has a retractable roof, it has pretty much become a dome. Last season, Houston played only 14 of their 81 games in the elements. And, as Brian McTaggart notes in his report on the issue, the majority of those games came early in the season.
It appears that there are some issues to be resolved with this, but Ryan will seek to do so at the upcoming Quarterly Meetings.
- Why was the practice of opening the roof during a game suddenly done away with?
- Both teams must agree on the roof opening mid-game.
- The break between innings is much shorter than the 13 minutes it takes for the roof to open.
Baseball is a game meant to be played and watched outdoors. Lately there has not been much of that happening in Houston and the fans, rightfully so, would like to see that change. My takeaway here, is that Ryan is not only asking fans for their opinions, but he is concerned about that and will try to fix issues. But if the product on the field isn’t addressed, then it really doesn’t matter.
“In a nutshell, what I would personally like to see is us to be able to open the roof late in the game when the weather is appealing or was comfortable enough that fans would enjoy it,” Ryan said. “The one thing we know from our research — and we surveyed fans extensively this year — is people want to see the roof open more. They like the feel of outdoor baseball. So what is that [optimum] temperature? What is the [right] wind condition? What are the chances of rain? We’re still digging into all that — and once we get it, then we’ll put it out there.”