Marlins open roof in an effort to halt slump

Marlins open roof in an effort to halt slump

Marlins open roof in an effort to halt slump
MIAMI -- Losing six straight games had Marlins management thinking outside of the box on Monday.

Opening the roof became the suggestion.

Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest passed the idea along to team president David Samson. The call was made to owner Jeffrey Loria, and the decision was made.

With the unpredictable rain patterns and excessive heat in Miami, the roof has remained closed since April 18 against the Cubs.

"This was a phone call that came at 5:02 [p.m. ET]," Samson said. "Larry Beinfest called and said, 'Hey, we've lost six in a row, I've got an idea. Let's open the roof and see what happens.' I said, 'What's the temperature?' and he said, 'It's going to be below 80 [degrees] at game time. It'll be 79.'

"I said, 'Are you sure?' He said, 'Yes, let's just try it. I said, 'Well, there's two calls we have to make, but let's start with the most important one.' I dialed up Jeffrey and said, 'Jeffrey, let's try something new. We've lost six in a row. Let's just do it.' Jeffrey said, 'Well, OK.' He was worried about our fans, didn't want our fans to be too hot."

A criteria for opening the roof is playing in a temperature less than 80 degrees. The temperature at the start of the game was 79 degrees. There also was zero chance of rain, which is highly rare during the South Florida rainy season.

The decision was passed along to manager Ozzie Guillen, who didn't care either way.

"We spoke to Ozzie," Samson said. "Ozzie was great [about the decision], and we decided to do it."

The Marlins played four games in April with the roof open and went 2-2 in those games.

Still, to guard themselves against a surprise shower, there are two people at Marlins Park responsible for tracking the weather.

In case it does rain, there is a tarp that can be placed over the infield. It takes about 14 minutes for the roof to close.

"We are ready just in case something crazy happens, but there's really nothing in the area," Samson said. "This is like the perfect night to have done it. I wish we didn't need a slump buster, but this was sort of our version of a slump buster."