How MLB got it all wrong when not thinking about the weather

Jack Brown is talking Yankees again, but this time it’s more about the weather…

So this week as a Yankee fan I got to watch from Monday to Thursday a total of 5 ½ innings of baseball due to the weather. We had an off day on Monday then a 2 game series against Washington in DC. Tuesday we managed to get half a game in before the game was abandoned due to rain and thunderstorms. Wednesday was a total write off and that put an end to a series which contained two World Series candidates. It wasn’t only those to teams that were affected. The Mets and Blue Jays played a game on Wednesday at Citi Field which was ruined by rain. They managed to play the game but it was largely affected by the rain.

I could go on listing games this season that have been affect by poor weather or called off completely, total of 32 Games have been postponed this season already. I know that a lot of these games came early in the season and as the season goes on and the weather gets better there will be less and less games called off. These games getting postponed mean a fixture clog up later on in the season with some teams playing 27 games in 30 days.

I know MLB can’t control the weather and the reason the season started so early was to fit more off days for the players. Where I feel that MLB missed the boat and had an opportunity to make the number of games postponed a lot less is by making it a rule that when you build a new stadium it has to have a retractable roof.

Since Seattle opened Safeco Field in 1999 there have been 15 new ballparks open.

  • AT&T Park – 2000
  • Minute Maid Park – 2000
  • Comerica Park – 2000
  • PNC Park – 2001
  • Miller Park – 2001
  • Great American Ball Park – 2003
  • Citizens Bank Park – 2004
  • Petco Park – 2004
  • Busch Stadium – 2006
  • Nationals Park – 2008
  • Citi Field – 2009
  • Yankee Stadium – 2009
  • Target Field – 2010
  • Marlins Park – 2012
  • Suntrust Park – 2017

There are currently only 7 ballparks that have some kind of roof if you include Tropicana Field but only 6 have retractable roofs. If you include Safeco Field there are only 4 from the list above.

The next thing you have to look at is where some of the parks listed are located. A lot of these parks are located in areas of America that have times of the year that the weather is really bad and unplayable for baseball.

You could argue that the likes of San Diego, San Francisco and LA don’t need roofs and that would be a fair and valid argument. This rule is aimed at the likes of Detroit, Minnesota, Washington and New York. There would have to be a certain criteria that has to be met for a stadium to be built without a roof. Maybe it’s a certain number of rainouts a season or average temperature.

Detroit has on average 133 days a year that has rainfall.

Minneapolis has on average 110 days a year that has rainfall.

New York has on average 121 days a year that has rainfall.

Washington has on average 115 days a year that has rainfall.

The reason I started thinking about this situation is because why does it seem MLB are having the same problems now in 2018 as they did in 1918. What makes it worse is the technology is there and some teams are making the most of it and some aren’t. I understand that MLB is unlike any other sport in the sense they are still playing in stadiums like Fenway and Wrigley where you can’t put a roof on them. That’s why I chose Safeco as a starting point. That would have been a perfect point for MLB to say to its teams, all future stadiums must have a retractable roof. Now 12 new stadiums have been built without a retractable roof. These stadiums will be around for decades or at least they hope so and MLB missed the boat to make those stadiums more practical.

MLB could rue the day they didn’t make that rule when Minnesota reach a World Series and the weather makes for bad baseball. That may be due to rain or just pure cold temperatures. I think we all agree early season baseball definitely suffers due to the cold/wet weather.

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