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Houston Astros: Get Lost in the LED Lights Like the Baseball

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Apr 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) at bat against the Kansas City Royals in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 14, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Astros right fielder George Springer (4) at bat against the Kansas City Royals in the fourth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Houston Astros Take Center Stage With the LED Lights Shining In Young Star George Springer’s Eyes.

Welcome to the 2016 Houston Astros season which has gotten off to a rough start, to say the least. I was at Thursday’s night’s game, but I was aware of the social media talk through interactions with the writers from CTH. There is a sense of panic about the Astros season through 12 games after an offseason of talk that the Astros being favorites to go to the World Series in 2016. It is too early to jump off into the deep end and give up on the season, the Astros are typically a streaky team at times, they are just in a slump right now.

While there is a lot of things that have led to the Astros 4-8 record through 12 games, one thing that has become an issue in recent games is the LED lighting that was installed this past offseason. The Astros installed the lights to improve energy efficiency and provide a better viewing experience for the fans. The Astros had the best intentions when they made the commitment with installing Musco’s LED Lighting system.

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Looking at the

Looking at the original press release by Musco in February of 2015, Astros President Reid Ryan said that this was designed to help both the players and fans experience watching Astros baseball. Ironically, Musco issued the following benefits as part of the press release, “Reduces glare with specially designed optics allowing players to see the complete trajectory of the ball.”

I’m sure that George Springer will beg to differ about the LED lighting systems, as he has lost the ball several times in the lights, the biggest instance was on Thursday night where he let a ball get past him after he lost it in the lights. Springer suggested that the only way for the lights to not be an issue is playing the games during the day. Other players have not complained about the lights much, but as a season ticket holder, I have not seen too many line drives to right field hit by the Astros.

What are the Astros going to do with the lights, let’s see what A.J. Hinch had to say, via Brian McTaggart. “There’s not much you can do about it. The lights are there and they’re not moving. We’ll make the adjustments.” I agree with Hinch, and the Astros need to learn how to make this a home field advantage by hitting more balls to right field. It seems to be that the only person having problems is Springer, but he’s missed some catchable balls because of the LED lights on the third base side. I took a picture of this at Friday night’s game of the lights that are causing Springer the trouble.

The Astros have Springer playing right field because of his ability to go all out to catch the ball. He will work on trying to see the ball better, but remember that losing a ball in the lights is not considered an error. That is why the Royals were awarded the a hit instead of an error, adding five runs to Doug Fister‘s ERA. The Astros, following last night’s loss, are now 4-8 on the season. They are not out of it yet, but they need to start playing more consistent baseball.

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While the lights are not going anywhere, the comments made by Springer will probably draw some attention this offseason. The Astros are the second major league team to install the LED lights at the ballpark. The Texans also use the Musco LED light systems at NRG Stadium. It will take some time to adjust the lights, but the Astros need to play better baseball all around. The light’s didn’t seem so bright last night, maybe they made some adjustments.

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