Roof to Keep 78-Degree Sunshine Out of NLDS Game

Paul Steinbach Headshot

It's 78 degrees and mostly sunny in Milwaukee, a beautiful day for (indoor) baseball. Wait. What?

Major League Baseball has decided to keep Miller Park's retractable roof closed for today's deciding Game 5 of the National League Division Series between the Brewers and the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks, and the reason reportedly is to keep conditions consistent with the first four games in the series. Arizona hosted Games 3 and 4 at retractable-roofed Chase Field. All four games in the series so far have been played indoors.

Chilly (but entirely tolerable) temperatures in Milwaukee last week kept the Miller Park roof closed, while dust storms this week forced the closure of Chase Field. But today's decision has most people scratching their own domes. According to a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel online poll that had tallied 433 responses three hours before today's first pitch, fans who disagree with the MLB's call outnumbered those agreeing with it by a 3-to-1 ratio.

One possible reason for the decision being bandied about is the late-afternoon start time and the strange sun/shadow contrasts that can occur on Miller Park's playing field. However, those half-moon-shaped sun spots are caused predominantly by inoperable glass windows along the first-base side of the stadium, and not by the pie-shaped opening in the roof, which can (and has) been partially closed using only right-field panels to keep sun off of the left-field grass.

Post-season day baseball is a rarity these days. Near-80-degree weather on Oct. 7 in Milwaukee is likewise scarce. Too bad the two can't team up.

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