The Roof of All Evil Does Yankees In

A fly ball lost in the roof helps the Rays to a win.

By Josh Alper
|  Wednesday, Jul 20, 2011  |  Updated 10:37 AM EDT
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The mysteries of the Tropicana Dome roof have baffled us for ages.

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Has there ever been a worse stadium in baseball than the Tropicana Dome?

Every night it seems like there is some mishap, malfunction or mysterious development that could happen only in the home of the Rays.

Sunday's game was delayed when a batted ball broke a light, Monday's game was delayed by a lightning strike that knocked out a bank of lights, balls hit catwalks over the playing field and get lost in a roof that wasn't designed to be the backdrop for a baseball game.

That last one cost the Yankees dearly on Tuesday night. Curtis Granderson couldn't find a ball hit to center and it landed about 15 feet away from where he planted himself, loading the bases with one out in the seventh inning.

Granderson had an excuse for his error, but Boone Logan can't really blame the roof for his inability to handle Elliot Johnson's bouncer back to the mound.

The tying run scored on that play, and the winner came one batter later when Granderson's sliding catch on a dying quail off Johnny Damon's bat didn't allow him to make a good throw to the plate.

You could come up with an alternative narrative for the 3-2 loss built around Jeremy Hellickson's start. Other than a two-run homer by Robinson Cano, the Rays rookie starter avoided all trouble and continued to stake his claim to a spot on the short list of the best young starters in baseball.

Why would you want to do that, though, when you can just blame the awful stadium that even the Rays want to see destroyed?

Given the fact that the Yankees will have to keep playing there nine times a year until someone ponies up for new digs, it might actually make sense for them to kick in some cash to make it happen.

Or just let the Rays use the spring training complex across town because that's a lot closer to being a big league quality home field than the monstrosity they are currently using.

All of this griping about a building obscures Bartolo Colon's start which was a welcome return to effectiveness after his two-game trip to the bottom of the barrel. His fastball had serious life, a season-high nine strikeouts, and he threw it without any of the hesitation about his hamstring that seemed to be part of his motion in Toronto last week.

In the end, Colon's start matters a lot more than the sorry state of the Rays' facility so the night was as close to a wash as possible for a night that ends with a loss. Which makes sense, because a win in the Trop feels like a loss thanks to the surroundings.

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City. You can follow him on Twitter and he is also a contributor to Pro Football Talk.

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