In a move that's sure to anger many folks in Toronto who enjoy soaking up the warm sunshine of a summer's day while taking in a Blue Jays game, the team has announced that the Rogers Centre roof will not open during the 2015 season. The specifics of the move are a little cloudy at this point but it appears that the front office has been doing some in-depth testing over the course of the past few seasons and has come to the conclusion that the squad has a much better chance to win when the roof is not open.
The power-heavy lineup seems to perform better indoors paired with the fact that the team's "ace" in R.A. Dickey has a much better knuckleball with a closed roof. Although there is an obvious trade-off with the fan experience, it seems nearly unanimous that most true fans would exchange having literally any atmosphere in the ballpark whatsoever with a few extra wins that could propel the team into the playoffs (with home games still being played with a closed roof).
Brandon Kenney was the one who got the depressing scoop:
@BrandonKenney: Jays announce that the Rogers Centre roof will not be open during any of the 2015 campaign due to a variety of factors.
There was also a quote from a front office source who made it pretty clear where the team's priorities lie:
@JaysInsder: Jays FO source "A closed roof gives the team the best chance to win and it also provides a more consistent stadium experience when considering the food quality and beer prices at the RC"
@JaysInsder: continued "We also have a plethora of very young players on the team who are more susceptible to sun damage due to their age, making a closed roof more safe for the team's future."
The team certainly can't be criticized for considering the long-term health of some of their future stars, but in fairness the team will likely lose control of them before it even becomes a factor. It would be a lot easier to side with the Blue Jays if they had control of these young assets into the 2021 season but that obviously isn't the case making the sun safety issue essentially moot.
Unfortunately today's news dampens the happy reports from a week ago that the Argos would be moving to BMO Field even sooner than most people expected. It also brings into question whether the grass that the team is paying people to watch grow in Guelph will ever end up being placed in the Rogers Centre. If the team sees their closed roof plan pay off with a playoff spot then the dome may never see another ounce of sunlight again making a natural grass field seem even more implausible.
The news marks what has become a pretty rough anniversary for the team with A.J. Jmenez's call-up last year making him the fourth catcher on the roster and R.A. Dickey's surgery the year prior significantly weakening the team's rotation. What horrible news will next year bring?!