The sun was shining in Toronto about an hour before Game 5 of the AL Championship Series — just not inside Rogers Centre, where the retractable roof was closed for a third straight day.
If that was disappointing for any fans, it didn’t seem to be much of an issue for the players.
“It can go either way. Obviously it’s a lot tougher to hit when you have shadows,” Cleveland outfielder Coco Crisp said. “I’m sure the hitters prefer it this way. Pitching I’m not so sure. I’m not on that end. Me personally, I’m happy it’s (closed).”
The postseason protocol in Toronto calls for the commissioner or a designee to decide what to do with the roof, in consultation with the Blue Jays and the crew chief. The decision is supposed to take into account how the home team handles the issue during the regular season.
An Major League Baseball official said Wednesday that the temperature was close to the normal threshold for closing the roof in Toronto. With the first pitch scheduled for 4:08 p.m., it was possible the weather could become a bit colder during the game.
The Indians led the Blue Jays 3-1 in the best-of-seven matchup.
Cleveland slugger Carlos Santana said he likes it fine when the roof is closed, although he said it seems a little dark when it’s not open.
Crisp said he’s never had any problems with the lighting level when the dome is closed.
“I never thought any different. I’m used to playing with the dome closed,” Crisp said. “It’s only been maybe once or twice where I’ve played with it open. Either way, it doesn’t matter.”
The Blue Jays were sending Marco Estrada to the mound against Cleveland rookie Ryan Merritt for Game 5, and Toronto manager John Gibbons was glad there wouldn’t be any shadows to worry about.
“You don’t want shadows. We play better when we score runs,” Gibbons said. “Estrada is a big deception guy, anyway, whether you can see him or not. Maybe (the shadows) would help this young kid, so don’t give him any advantages when he’s throwing.”