Ian Happ explains why roof in Milwaukee can create issues

By , Audacy

A few things drew the ire of the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, and one such issue had nothing to do with an actual play.

Both David Ross and Mike Napoli got tossed from Chicago’s 7-6 win over the Brewers. Umpiring was a central issue, but the thing that seemed to get under the skin of Ross the most was the roof getting closed mid-game.

The game started with the roof open, then during the eighth inning it began to close. Because of the way light hits the park at different times of day, shadows can make a difference on the game, and the roof being open or closed plays a role.

"They're closing the roof to get rid of the shadows late,” Ross said after the game before launching into a profanity-laced tirade. “There's a lot of bulls–t that went on today. It was just really frustrating," Ross said. "I f—--g thought it was horses–t. I don't f—--g know."

Appearing on Bernstein & Holmes, Cubs outfielder Ian Happ explained why the roof can be such an issue in Milwaukee.

“When the roof is open, 3 o’clock games are tough,” Happ said Wednesday. “When the roof is open it’s kind of as the game goes, the shadows are bad at the start and then they get a little bit better – but the late innings as the sun gets on the batter’s eye it gets really tough. So that’s a challenge.

“And then in the outfield, left field gets pretty direct sun as the game is going on, so you’re kind of dealing with anything that goes up is going to be in the sun, and then as the roof closes the windows get really bright when the sun sets. So you’re kind of dealing with two different things.

“The hard part yesterday is you have to wear glasses. Because if the ball goes up, it’s right in the sun, but it’s shade where the hitter is. So with glasses, it’s really dark where the hitter is and you have a lot of trouble picking the ball up off the bat, but then when it goes up you have the sun to deal with."

The Brewers trailed 7-2 heading into the eighth, then forced extras by adding two runs in each of the final innings. Keeping Happ’s point about the batter’s eye in mind, closing the roof could help sightlines for hitters in the late innings. That closing the roof coincided with a Brewers rally ostensibly is why Ross seemed so miffed.

MLB rules say the the roof should only be closed during a game if weather is a potential issue. In such a situation, the crew chief is supposed to alert the visiting team, which would have the opportunity to challenge the decision.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Peter van den Berg/USA Today Sports Images