The Rogers Centre has the charm you covet when visiting a ballpark. No, it’s not 150 years old and it doesn’t sit in the middle of a neighborhood.
But there is more to a ballpark’s charm than being quaint or built by our early settlers.
The 348-room hotel attached to the stadium’s outfield is a cool touch. It includes 70 rooms that overlook the field. When the roof is open, even more rooms can watch the action. That wasn’t the case Sunday night.
The roof stayed closed, unlike last week when it was open for the Jays’ wild-card win over the Baltimore Orioles. It was the first time they’ve opened the roof for a postseason game since the stadium opened in 1989, a span of 24 games.
The Jays probably prefer it open. In 2016, they were 34-17 with a .274 batting average. With it closed, they were 12-18 with a .236 average.
The decision to open or close the roof is MLB’s call, but the Blue Jays suggest their wishes.
Shooting the action
The Rogers Centre is unique for another reason. At the end of both dugouts sits high-power, high-definition cameras. That’s nothing special, but their setup is.
Both cameras are on swing seats, which basically means the operator sitting in a seat swivels left and right to follow the action smoothly.
For a mental image, think of the gunner stations Han Solo and Luke Skywalker used on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars. But don’t get too cocky about it.
No love for Odor
Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor was booed loudly by Blue Jays fans during pregame introductions. Most Rangers players were barely noticed, but when Odor’s name came through the P.A. system, the Rogers Centre erupted for a sustained chorus of boos. He was also booed heavily when he approached the plate for his first at-bat in the second inning. It’s Odor’s first game in Toronto since he punched Jose Bautista on May 15 in Arlington.
Former Dallas Stars center Joe Nieuwendyk was on hand for Sunday’s Game 3. It appears the allegiances of the Ontario native, wearing a Blue Jays jersey, remain with the Jays. Nieuwendyk was born in Oshawa, Ontario, which is about 30 minutes east of Toronto down the Lake Ontario shoreline.
Former Jays pitcher Duane Ward threw out the ceremonial first pitch Sunday night. Ward pitched for the Jays from 1986 to 1995. Ward was Toronto’s closer in 1993 when it won its second consecutive World Series titles. He set Toronto’s single-season record with 45 saves in ’93.