ARLINGTON, Texas — On Friday, Major League Baseball closed the Globe Life Field roof before Game 3 of the World Series to protect 11,000 fans and thousands of other employees from the worst possible consequence of playing through a deadly pandemic known for spreading in closed, indoor spaces.
That’s right, a rainout.
In a statement, MLB said the commissioner’s office made the decision due to “Friday’s forecasted temperatures, wind chill, and the possibility of rain.”
As of 6:55 PM CT Central Time, AccuWeather estimated a 0% chance of precipitation during the game, with temperatures in the low to mid 50s projected throughout the duration of the game. My Weather Channel app said the same, but with a 5% chance of rain. So, sweater weather.
But even if MLB truly fears autumn weather might compromise the Fall Classic, the league could postpone the game one day. But the disruption of schedule likely means less brisket sandwiches, Tex-Mex and Shin-Soo Choo jerseys for sale at the neutral site.
Every few weeks, I write a version of this story because the league has been reckless all year. Holding a game indoors, with fans, while the virus is peaking throughout the country and in Texas is another reckless MLB decision in a long string of them.
This is not the first time our trust has been violated. Early in the pandemic, the American public was shellshocked by the exponential rise in confirmed cases and grief of losing our friends, neighbors and loved ones, and knew so little about the pandemic’s spread. We were misinformed by government officials who were waffling between discouraging and imploring mask usage, Clorox-cocktails from the White House, or politicians like Bill de Blasio urging his constituents to catch a movie instead of, you know, not dying.
Thirty-three thousand New Yorkers paid the ultimate price because a few too many intentionally or otherwise, followed the Mayor’s advice. Two-hundred thousand Americans will never go to a sporting event on this side of eternity in part because the President treated it like a hoax.
It was a confusing time then, and there is still so much we don’t understand about the virus. But there’s one thing we know really well now that we didn’t know then — when we’re around other people, it’s far better to be outside than inside.
As Zach Binney, an epidemiology PhD and Emory University professor, told the News on Friday, “I don’t know how much it increases the risk over what it would be with the roof open, but I feel confident in saying it doesn’t help.”
Not one more soul should suffer from the thoughtless, vague consolation from an institution that does not deserve your trust.
Speaking of which:
“MLB, which consulted with medical advisors in reaching this decision, believes that a closed roof will provide the best competitive environment for players and the most comfort for fans without jeopardizing their safety in any way,” read a statement from the league.
Why would anyone believe this? Why would anyone believe them?
According to the Marlins and MLB, the league and its medical experts approved of them returning to play even with multiple players testing positive for COVID-19 at the same time. And according to the league, there was, at the time “no fixed threshold” for determining when the league should suspend operations.
On June 27, one month before those 18 Marlins players tested positive for COVID-19 and knocked out nearly a month off the schedule, the Daily News reached out to MLB when a spate of ballpark workers caught the virus. Where did they work? Globe Life Field.
We also know that MLB and its 30 franchises did not involve local health officials when planning their relaunch, or at absolute best, failed to disclose their involvement publicly.
MLB did not immediately reply to questions about which medical advisors, or why exactly there wasn’t any additional risk.
I’m in Arlington for the Series. It’s my first one. I love baseball. But I have zero interest in helping us achieve herd immunity. So, this blurry hotel television, or failing that, iPad, will have to do the trick. I love people. But I’ll see 11,000 of y’all on Saturday. Maybe.
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