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MLB keeps Miller Park roof open for Game 1

MLB keeps Miller Park roof open for Game 1

MLB keeps Miller Park roof open for Game 1
MILWAUKEE -- Folks around town were marveling at the sun and warmth of the Indian summer Sunday afternoon in Milwaukee. Major League Baseball essentially determined there was no reason to exclude that pleasant weather from the National League Championship Series opener.

In the postseason, MLB determines whether a retractable roof is open. Whether the one at Miller Park would be open Sunday was a question, since roofs stayed closed in Milwaukee and at Phoenix's Chase Field for all five games of the NL Division Series.

But MLB senior vice president of standards and on-field operations Joe Garagiola Jr. stood behind home plate and basked in the warmth. There was no way MLB executive vice president of baseball operations Joe Torre nor Garagiola, who consults with Torre, wanted to deprive the fans of a chance to do the same. Temperature at first pitch was 76 degrees.

The question came because on Friday, yet another nice day in Milwaukee, MLB elected to keep the roof closed for Game 5 of the NLDS.

"What happened the other night was we had played the first four games of the series with the roof closed in both cities," Garagiola said. "So we felt for consistency sake, you don't want to suddenly change the whole atmosphere in Game 5.

"In fact, in that series, the second game in Arizona was a beautiful night, but Joe Torre, who was out there, said, 'You know what? We played the first two in Milwaukee with the roof closed, we played last night here with the roof closed, we're going to maintain the same conditions.' But obviously, this is a new series, so it's a different situation. The roof will be open.

"It would be a complete shame to close the roof."

Home teams make the decision on retractable roofs during the regular season. During the postseason, MLB makes the decision but does consult both teams.

When MLB consulted Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak, he agreed that the roof should be open.

"It does seem like a beautiful day, and you have to take advantage of the weather," Mozeliak said.

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke is known for preferring the roof to be closed, but a lot of that is practical because of how sunlight can affect play at times.

"I think with the way the day is today and the start time, I don't think it will make that much difference," Roenicke said. "It's such a nice day today and not much wind, I don't think it's any different.

"[There will be some] shadows maybe the first couple of innings deep in left field -- there will be some sun there. But today it's going to be the sun coming through the panels from the south."

The issue is the unusual start time, just after 3 p.m. CT. But as far as Roenicke is concerned, it's a good problem to have.

"Until you get in the postseason, you don't have these weird start times," he said. "The game times that we usually play here -- [1 p.m., 6 p.m. or 7 p.m.] -- it's not an issue. When we have that roof partially closed so they don't have shadows between home plate and the pitcher, I think it plays great.

"So it's just postseason. And so hopefully we're in this for a long time in postseason, and maybe they can do something then."

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