Roof Over Our Heads: Rays Still Need a Roof, New Stadium Or Not
Catwalk calamities like the Rays experienced in a loss to the Twins aren't new to them.
Jason Kubel smacked a ball into the catwalk below the roof of Tropicana Field on Thursday. The Rays infield had an eye on the ball until it hit above and landed several feet from any fielder near the pitcher's mound.
Mind you, incidents like these happen a handful of times a season and the more and more they happen, the more frustrating it is for the Rays who have abandoned their old uniforms and losing tradition.
Because the Rays are in contention, this catwalk hit was was a bigger deal. Manager Joe Maddon made an excellent point about having a "real baseball field," but he forgets to point out one key thing and that is they still need a roof even if it's in a new ballpark or not.
Weather in the state of Florida can be very unpredictable, just ask the Florida Marlins who are moving into their new ballpark in 2012 with a retractable roof. They are a team that needs a roof over their heads but the Rays, they prefer not to have one.
Of course, the Rays are going to have a variation of a retractable roof.
Early designs of their previous plans called for a new ballpark which included a "Mast and Arch" type roof in a way of a sailboat where the roof would not be purely solid but rather have a type of fabric which would require a pulley system to close and open.
Will the Rays get a new stadium within the next few years?
It's a smart and unique idea but yet their efforts have been slowed down in the past years.
Domes really should be reserved for hockey and basketball teams, where really the views that count are on the hardwood or ice.
In football, you really want teams to play through the elements which makes it interesting.
In baseball, when baseballs are hit out to the outfield, you get a glimpse of the view beyond it. This might not be the case in every ballpark but examples such as Great American Ballpark, PNC Park, Petco Park and Busch Stadium have pretty good views that really add to the term home-field advantage.
For the Rays one could only hope their torment of the dreaded catwalk can quickly end and finally move into a new stadium...with a retractable roof over their heads.
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