Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Roof, Roof, Roof for the Home Team

I've been to Houston. Twice. My sole purpose for setting foot there was to see games in the ball parks. Why on Earth else would anyone go there?

My trip to the Astrodome (or, more accurately, Harris County Domed Stadium) was in late September. Even then, it was so hot, muggy and disgusting, I had a slight twinge of sympathy and understanding as to why they had an indoor baseball facility. Of course, that raised the question of whether Houston deserved an MLB franchise in the first place.

I saw two games in what was then aptly named Enron Field, now Minute Maid Park. They did a nice job incorporating the old Union Station into the ball park, but that's just a lobby that you walk through. The rest of the park, frankly, is rather plastic. The silly train above left field is one of the cheesiest things I've ever seen at a Major League ball park.

On Friday night, the game started with the roof closed, even though the late June evening was quite pleasant. Around the 6th inning or so, they opened the roof. No idea what the motivation was, or why it wasn't open the whole game.

The following afternoon was hot, but I didn't think it was uncomfortable. Still, the powers-that-be decided that the roof should be closed the whole game. Right after the final out, they opened it, which is when this picture was taken. Even with the roof fully open, it still feels like an indoor ball park.

Houston is a football town in a football state, and they think they get an advantage by playing in a noisy venue. With the tin roof closed, it's noisier. Again, this calls into question whether Houston deserves an MLB team.

"Bud" Selig has forced the Astros to play the World Series with the roof open, against their will. It's one of few -- if any -- decisions by the commissioner that I wholeheartedly agree with and endorse. Weather should be the only factor in deciding whether to close the roof.

The bottom line is that indoor baseball sucks.

©2005 Douglas T. Dinsmoor

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Houston = Bush

A beautiful night last night, a beautiful day today, yet the Astros insist on having the roof closed on their plastic ballpark because they want it to be noisier.

Just one more reason why Houston doesn't deserve a Major League franchise.

©2005 Douglas T. Dinsmoor