Weird weather brings back roof debatePublished 10:54am Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Frustrating. That is the only word I can describe the recent “spring” weather that we have seen.
As a Minnesota Twins fan, it has been a difficult year as we have already seen four postponements. Mother Nature has not been kind to our baseball team and now they will need to fit in these games throughout the season.
The main issue with that is two of those four games are against national league teams that we will only see once a year. The games with the Miami Marlins have been solved as the Twins will take them on in a double-header today, but an earlier postponement with the New York Mets could prove to be tough to find a date that will warrant a makeup. Games against the Los Angeles Angels and the Chicago White Sox, which was not played in Minnesota, can be put in double-headers or four game series later in the year.
Rewind back to 2007, when the Twins brass put their first shovel into the foundation for Target Field. It was hailed a glorious day for a team that had not played in a stadium built specifically for them since 1936 in Washington D.C. It would also mark the first time that team played outdoors since moving into the Metrodome in 1982. This may have been one of their major mistakes.
I know baseball purists would say that baseball was meant to be played outdoors, but I also believe baseball was not meant to be played in 30-40 degree weather. I am not saying that the Twins should play in a enclosed structure, but to have the Pohlads pony up the money to put a retractable roof on the stadium seems like a bright idea. The consensus around the newsroom seems to support the idea that this should have been done.
Being someone that does not live in the metro area, I have always thought it was a dumb idea to have an open stadium. Driving nearly three hours to a baseball game to have it canceled due to weather does not make me happy. I realize other teams experience these problems, but most of their fan bases are not stretched out as far across a state or region as the Twins.
This is why the new Vikings’ stadium will be a dome or retractable roof. Not saying football cancels because of wet or snowy fields, but it allows fans to watch the game in comfort and you should never see a cancellation for any events hosted at the venue.
Enough with the what-ifs, lets see what can be done now about the situation.
Scheduling inter-league play games early in the season needs to be looked at. I realize that since the Houston Astros moved to the American league there will be a inter-league series throughout the season, but can’t Major League Baseball be smarter on their scheduling? Why are the Miami Marlins playing the Twins in Minnesota in April?
Another solution is having southern teams host most early April games. This won’t solve every problem, but unless a northern team plays in a dome or retractable roof stadium teams may not have to find make-up days later on. League owners may not be happy with this, but I think that it is time to give back to the fans.
I may not have all the answers for baseball, I never claimed that I did, but these seem to be a good start. This afternoon, I hope to sit a watch the Twins play their double-header, assuming the weather doesn’t have other plans.