Many holes, actually, though they’re expected and fairly common in new retractable roof stadiums:
A month in, the Marlins are still trying to figure out how to plug leaks in their 8,000-ton retractable roof and how to stop the grass from dying in the outfield.
The grass is dying because the roof has been closed too much and there hasn’t been enough sun when it has been open. As for the leaks, it’s a matter of simply having lots of joints in a retractable roof and being unable to truly know where it’s leaking until the place is open for business and it, you know, rains:
“[Sunday] there were four of five spots where we had some drips coming down. The roof people were looking at those joints,” Samson said. “Again, it’s very normal [to have leaks].
“But you need it to rain and see where [the leaks are]. There have been different types of rains the last few days.
Little known fact: Samson is a a Quasi Supernormal Incremental Precipitation Inducer. Which, in layman’s terms, makes him a Rain God. But we in the media can’t call him simply that, because it would suggest that ordinary people knew something we didn’t.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.