Easy Solution Or Not Is The Roof

By Rich Mancuso/ Sports Editor

The equation with baseball and the rain is a retractable roof though not as easy to figure the answer. For some reason, and difficult to get the proper response, there is never a viable explanation as to why New York City built two new ballparks and the retractable roof was never in the plan.

And in 2019, with new venues and weather elements that have changed, they missed the mark. Tax paying dollars or fans having to foot the bill, take it as it is. But the past three days of no baseball in New York have led to more questions. Major League Baseball wants these games to be played because of the revenue, however, you can’t fight Mother Nature and now there is havoc with the schedule.

Havoc also for the fans who pay the price before or after the gates are open. Or for the fans paying the price at concession stands.  Those same core base of spectators who pay high fees for parking a car and not getting a refund are losing.

It has occurred the past three days and nights here in New York. Though the Mets on Mother’s Day had the decency of calling their game with the Marlins, and early enough to prevent die hards from waiting and throwing away their hard earned money. The Yankees game Monday night, that was a disaster as that loyal base of fans waited until they tried to get the playing field in shape.

And they waited as a field was unplayable due to the supposed and best drainage system that failed at Yankee Stadium.  It has been failed to be mentioned, and maybe because there is no explanation, Yankee Stadium is also occupied this time of year with a co-tenant.

NYCFC of the MLS, a professional soccer team that the Yankees have a financial interest with, calls Yankee Stadium their home. And the field this season has been converted four times from baseball to soccer configurations which has taken a toll on the sod and grass.

So the Yankee Stadium grounds crew, with the rain and conversions, has earned their money. More so, a source close to the situation said, “There is only so much the field can take.” The reference was to a drainage system has taken a toll.

Last month during a NYCFC match in the Bronx, with the Montreal Impact, it was divots in the outfield area at Yankee Stadium that became an issue. They came apart as players from both teams were in transition and they complained. The issue which had an impact on the game was a topic of discussion with players from both teams  

 Credit: NYCFC

More importantly,  It was also an issue of concern as it pertained to possible injuries of highly paid players that fortunately did not occur.  

And like the injuries that have hit the Yankees, their precious playing field in the Bronx is in need of some maintenance. But that is only part of the issue here because like it or not, and the evidence speaks for itself, both baseball venues in New York missed their mark going without that retractable roof.

You can make up the games, and they will, but managers are forced to change the pitching plan. Baseball players are creatures of habit and eventually the schedule changes also catches up to them

And it’s not only a New York issue. Opened in April of 2010, Target Field home of the Minnesota Twins confronts a similar issue. No retractable roof and for one reason or another a viable explanation is not available. And here, it’s a cold weather issue and those early season games of confronting Mother Nature of snow and chill.

But New York City and with all the resources failed to go the proper route.  The taxpayer and a few million more to build that retractable roof may have been the obstacle. But it  could be the tradition of playing baseball in New York with open air and that green grass tradition.

Regardless, these past few days and nights of no baseball in New York have become an adventure. Do we or do we not play? And for you the fans, do we venture out and brave the elements? Do we take the risk, spend the parking fees, eat at the concession stands, and hear the game has been postponed?

How do we exchange tickets for another game and what is available? Both the Yankees and Mets in all due respect  correctly handle ticket exchange policies if not purchased by those secondary companies such as Stubhub.

Even the best radar system in place and used by MLB, can’t predict an accurate  forecast as to when the next and nasty weather system clears the area. You saw that again this week as the so-called window of opportunity never arrived.

It has become a guessing game. But the real question is, why did they not build the retractable roof? Perhaps in the next 20 or 30 years they will come to a compromise when the call is made again to upgrade the baseball venues.  

If you build it right, they will come. If Major League Baseball and their respective teams do it right, the retractable roof is the route to go in a city such as New York where the climate has changed

Hey, there still be green grass and a drainage system only in need in case of a leak or two.

Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

Print Friendly, PDF & Email