home jobs contact us
Our Clients:
Browse by Sport
Find us on ASAP sports on Facebook ASAP sports on Twitter
ASAP Sports RSS Subscribe to RSS
Click to go to
ASAP Sports e-Brochure View our


October 25, 2005

Bob DuPuy

Allan H. "Bud" Selig

Jimmie Lee Solomon

HOUSTON, TEXAS: Game Three - Opening of Roof Discussion

COMMISSIONER SELIG: In these type of situations, anything, you try to be fair and consistent. I know there have been some people that have said, "Why does MLB interfere in the World Series?" It's true in all sports, by the way. And what you try to do is to be fair. I know that Jimmie Lee, we've studied weather, winds, we've studied humidity. There isn't a cloud within 800 miles of here. And the thing that we have said to all clubs with roofs is that weather is the determining factor. Let me say that again so there's no doubt: Weather is the determining factor. We don't let clubs do other things that will affect or disturb balance. But a roof is something that people set criteria. Following the criteria that the Houston Astros set this year, this fits to have the roof open, their criteria; not ours. It is true that in 2001 Arizona wanted to close the roof, and they were told they couldn't. It was quiet, they were very nice about it. They were tough, but they knew they had to keep the roof open. There's precedence. We have to be careful about precedence. We can't make different rules for different clubs under different sets of circumstances. I know it's unpopular here, and I'm sorry about that. But we have to be guided by what we think is a sense of fairness both by a sense of history and their own club's history. And this is the postseason. So while we don't let clubs doctor up their outfields or do other things to give them a competitive edge, weather should be the sole criteria, and it has been for them, here. Having said that, fire away.

Q. With that in mind, how do you deal with the Astros complaining about it?

COMMISSIONER SELIG: I'll let Bob and Jimmy Lee take a crack at that. I have discussed this with Drayton McLane, who is a close friend of mine. We've had a lot of conversations and he's been great about it. He's been great about it all along. And he understood -- I gave him -- I laid out the same criteria. Bob had talked to them last week. Jimmie Lee has been talking to them. You know, I understand some of the -- I've read all the comments. I've read all the papers, so I read everybody's comments, players and everybody else, but this is not about that. It's about being fair. If the Houston Astros said under 80 the roof is open, and they had a series of criteria, they played a lot of games in April and May just like tonight. And the only reason it's been open 85 percent of the time is it's hot down here. That's fine. That's what the roof was meant to be. But if you're saying tonight, when I came in here, without a cloud in the sky, no wind, no humidity, it was 74 degrees. So game time it's supposed to be 68, we've talked to 800 weathermen, at least 400 of them have to be right, I hope (laughter), and that "400" is an inflated number, by the way. And that the lowest it should be during the game is in the 60s. With all due respect in the city I come from, you're lucky to get that by July 4th, and that's true in other places. Using the criteria we've always used and the team has always used, I want to suggest to Jimmie Lee, who -- this is in his -- the decision is a fair one, and that's all we can try to do. Is it popular? Well, I understand. I understand people -- that they think they want -- but we've got to use some established criteria here, not just off the top of our head.

Q. Mr. Solomon, it said in the discussions today that the main consideration and in fact the only one was the comfort of the fans. Presumably one of two things is happening here, either Major League Baseball is saying to the Astros, we're going to determine how best to care for the comfort of your fans as opposed to you who work here every day or we don't really think that's the issue, we think it's something else.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: But I don't agree with that, and I'll let Jimmie Lee and Bob -- that's just exactly what I just said. Given the warmth, no wind, no humidity, nobody can -- after all, fans just sat in Chicago with the wind chill in the low 30s, rain, a lot of wind, and of course fan comfort is critical. Well, that's exactly my whole point. That's what I said to myself, I listen. I've seen thousands of games. We played in weather you only wish you had a day like this. If this isn't fan-friendly weather, you tell me what is, because I don't know.

Q. What did they tell you as to what they thought their fans would be uncomfortable?

JIMMIE LEE SOLOMON: We discussed fan comfort, and the issue that came up was whether or not the temperature would drop to a level that would not be comfortable with the fans. We looked at the forecast and our forecast came back with a range of 68 at game time and 60 as being the coldest temperature during game time. So we made a determination that was a moderate temperature and that would not impact, adversely, fan comfort.

BOB DuPUY: Let me add something, because I had extensive discussions with this organization last week during the Cardinal series. And we closed the roof for Games 3 and 4 because of the heat during the afternoon, those were afternoon games and because of the shadows. We got to Monday night and that was -- Drayton and I had extensive discussions about the fact that the temperature was going to be 80 degrees or higher at game time, they wanted it closed, because that had been their policy all year. I told them that was fine, we would monitor the weather. In fact it was 81 or 82 degrees at game time. We had the roof closed for the game. And I told them at the World Series if the weather continued to get cooler that the Commissioner was going to have the roof open and it was within his discretion. The analog is really rain. The clubs decide during the season whether to start a game during rain. You wouldn't want that in the World Series. You wouldn't want the club to decide, it looks too wet for me, and the club needs rest. And that's the Commissioner's decision. And finally, take the flip, why should the roof be closed tonight? What is the argument for closing the roof tonight?

Q. Well, presumably --

BOB DuPUY: It was rhetorical, to some extent (laughter). If the commissioner would say we're going to play with the roof closed tonight, what would be the justification for that?

Q. The Astros would say their fans would be more comfortable.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: I've sat and watched -- I need to get a new life, because I sat and watched the Weather Channel all day determining about low temperatures, high temperatures, medium temperatures. This is their policy. These are the criteria they use in April and May when we were into this type of weather situation, we're just following what they did. When I told Drayton that, he agreed with me. The fan-friendly thing is fine, except this is what they did, over 80, closed, under 80, open. The only thing I worry about, as I told Jimmie Lee over and over and Bob knows this, and I can be repetitive, because I do worry about that, having run a franchise where it might not hit 40 until Memorial Day, you worry about people -- you worry about people sitting there. But when I hear that the least it will be is 60 or 62 by the end of the game, that's a criteria that every Major League city would be thrilled with. So if we're worrying about fans, and today when I got here, and it's warm and there's no wind and there's no anything else, Bob is right. Because I asked myself that question. What would be the basis of that? And I can't think of one.

Q. One thing that I heard on the field was one thing I think we can all agree is the fans will be comfortable with the roof closed as well. Why does it the matter to Major League Baseball whether it's open or closed?

COMMISSIONER SELIG: Because we feel, number one, that as I said earlier, we've established in Arizona a precedent. And we've established that precedent so that everybody understands that. Number two, to be fair, we say to clubs, we'll enforce the same rules that you did during the year. These are their rules. And they don't deny that, by the way. So I guess I'd have to say to you, well, then, what reason -- and I asked myself this over and over again driving in today, and Jimmie Lee knows, because, somebody has to second guess them, and it's always me -- what logic would we use? There's no wind, there's no rain, there's no humidity, and this is what they did. This is in their guidelines.

Q. What would your reply have been -- the issue of competitive advantage was never even raised in the meetings. The players and Phil Garner ad nauseam the last 48 hours, what would your response be, they said we want it closed.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: The only thing I said, the only factor that should determine it is weather. We don't do things to give teams competitive advantages in anything, and that's everywhere, I wouldn't think you would expect we would do that. You get into that and you've got on dangerous grounds, wouldn't think about that. Weather is the sole determinant. And when I say "weather," to get back to Bill's, question, yes, fan friendliness and warmth, but given World Series games and again giving relativity, this is a lovely, lovely day and a lovely evening.

Q. Commissioner, the roof issue is obvious to us. Have there been incidents where you have used your authority to enforce subtler ground rules, changes; base paths being too wet, lines being sloped, that we wouldn't be aware of?

COMMISSIONER SELIG: Yes, and the last year -- one thing the clubs have been pretty good. I really have to say that, they really have been pretty good. There was one incident that will go unmentioned, about four or five years ago I thought the home club was doing some things to the field we didn't think they should be doing, and we told them to cut it out. After all, my job is to make sure that the World Series is played in good a condition, as fair is as is possible. And that's all we're trying to do.

Q. In these meetings did the Astros have any objection to this or did they just accept the discussion that you guys presented?

COMMISSIONER SELIG: From my standpoint with Drayton McLane and Jimmie Lee and Bob may have talked to others, and I did see Pam Gardner tonight. No, they could not have been nicer. They were worried that there were people mad at me. I said, this is not the first time and I'm sorry to tell you it won't be the last time.

BOB DuPUY: Whether the roof is open or closed, the team that scores the most runs tonight will win.

COMMISSIONER SELIG: Very good point.

End of FastScripts...

About ASAP SportsFastScripts ArchiveRecent InterviewsCaptioningUpcoming EventsContact Us
FastScripts | Events Covered | Our Clients | Other Services | ASAP in the News | Site Map | Job Opportunities | Links
ASAP Sports, Inc. | T: 1.212 385 0297