MLB’s explanation for leaving roof closed at ALCS is hot air on a beautiful fall day

You could not ask for better weather for baseball than Wednesday afternoon on the shores of Lake Ontario: 69 degrees, barely a cloud in the sky, no wind to speak of.

They keep it exactly one degree Fahrenheit cooler under the roof at Rogers Centre, and that was, inexplicably, exactly what they did for Game 5 of the American League Championship Series.

Major League Baseball spokewoman Phyllis Merhige was given the impossible task of explaining why the decision was made to play baseball indoors on a perfect day, and while she did her best, there simply was no making sense of it.

“It’s going to be closed,” Merhige said when the question came up in the pregame press conference for Toronto manager John Gibbons, who appropriately deflected the question because it was a league decision, not a club decision. “It’s been closed for two games. They’ll leave it closed for the third game. I think generally it’s felt even conditions for everybody.”

The conditions are always even for everybody, because both teams are always on the field at the same time. If anything, there have been questions in the past about conditions being even for everybody in indoor games, such as Bobby Valentine’s old conspiracy theory that the Twins would manipulate the ventilation system at the Metrodome to help the home team.

The Blue Jays, according to box scores on Baseball-Reference.com, have played only one home playoff game outdoors since the 1985 ALCS, back when they were at Exhibition Stadium — the wild card game this October, when it was 63 degrees. In 2005, the Astros wanted to play World Series games with the roof closed in Houston because they fared better indoors during the season, but were overruled by commissioner Bud Selig, who ordered the roof open with good weather. It was 65 degrees for Game 4 of that series.

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