Roofgate: Astros mechanize their own home field advantage with roof to bark back at Rangers

The Rangers broke a handshake agreement to keep the roof closed in the ALCS. The Astros are trying to use their stadium roof to their advantage as well.

Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Two
Championship Series - Texas Rangers v Houston Astros - Game Two / Carmen Mandato/GettyImages

After the Texas Rangers jumped out to a 2-0 lead over the Houston Astros, the interstate ALCS looked as if it might not feature as much drama as a championship series would normally call for.

A few games later, and this series has lived up to the hype. It starts, first and foremost, with excellent baseball. The Astros bounced back with a 10-4 win in Game 4 and staged an epic comeback in Game 5 despite drama involving Bryan Abreu being ejected (and subsequently, suspended, but an appeal could change that) for hitting Aroldis Garcia with a pitch. Abreu has emphatically claimed it wasn't intentional, but umpires disagree. In that game, Dusty Baker was powerfully clear as well that there was no reason for the Astros to intentionally put a player on base in such a high-stakes moment.

Buried beneath that is the drama involving the roof. Both the Rangers and Astros play in stadiums with retractable roofs, and Dusty Baker implied there was an agreement between both teams that roofs would remain closed during the ALCS at both sites.

The Rangers, evidently, broke the agreement, opening theirs in Game 3, though the language of the announcement implied the MLB made the decision rather than the Rangers.

Astros make a decision on the roof for Game 6 against Rangers

The roof being open is a big deal because it's an extra factor to consider. Wind can blow balls in our out depending on the weather. Closed roofs provide a bit more stability and generally favor more purely talented teams.

Some waited with bated breath to see if the Astros would fire back with an open roof of their own. The team's social media confirmed the roof will be closed for Game 6, but the announcement had a clear directive to go with that: Get loud, Astros fans.

A closed roof is certainly advantageous to a team with fans capable of getting loud. With nowhere for sound waves to go, they'll bounce off the roof and generally make for an even louder environment, all else equal, than an open roof situation.

So while the Astros may not be willing to break the handshake agreement and play the petty game of opening their roof to bite back at the Rangers, it's clear they view the roof, even if closed, as a huge advantage, given their fans.

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