Miller Park and its annoying quirks

Those windows apparently are a topic of controversy among players around the league. For those who haven’t been here, there are two very large, arched window panels (we’re talking each one the size of a small airplane hangar) above the upper deck behind first and third base. In front of each panel is this elaborate tapestry of steel girders that support the roof, which also is arched to conform with the tops of the windows. When a ball is hit high in the air against the windows behind first base, where the afternoon sun is, it is almost impossible for the left fielder to see the ball. That’s what happened on the ball Gonzo misjudged in the fourth inning. The other problem is that somehow, even though the roof was closed, the grass in the outfield was wet, causing Juan Pierre and Andre Ethier to slip and slide on two occasions in particular. The first was on a double by Corey Hart (wonder if he’ll be wearing sunglasses for tomorrow’s night game) leading off the second that should have been ruled a single and error. Juan Pierre went to grab the ball, which was your basic single to shallow center, but he slipped as he bent over for it and failed to pick it up. Hart, who had slowed slightly rounding first, took off for second. Then, on a single by Prince Fielder in the fourth, Ethier had to hurry to get to it to stop J.J. Hardy from going first to third. Ethier succeeded, but as he wheeled to throw the ball back in, he, too, slipped, and two large divots came up behind him. Ethier later admitted that the grass was wet and was causing problems. Pierre said it was wet, but no more than usual for this ballpark, which is strange considering that the roof is always closed if it’s raining. Jeff Kent summed it up this way: “This was just a bad investment in a ballpark. From Day One. I can (complain) and moan and make jokes, but this is the park (the Brewers) play in, and they have to play here, too.” … Good quote, but on a day when the roof was closed, this was the best quote of the day, from Grady Little, about the usual pregame pomp and circumstance (and distractions) that come with the territory on opening day: “I don’t think there will be a flyover. That should take away a couple of seconds.” … I’ll check in when I arrive at the park tomorrow, probably around 3 o’clock (that’s 1 o’clock SoCal time). See ya then.

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