What’s with the Lights at Minute Maid Park?

George Springer is All-out Hustle! This non-catch from 2015 had nothing to do with the ball geting lost in the MMP lights.

George Springer is All-out Hustler Who Makes Great Catches!
This non-catch picture from 2015 had nothing to do with the ball getting lost in the MMP lights.


What’s with the Lights at Minute Maid Park?

Was that a legitimate error on George Springer in the top of the 6th? It was a looping fly ball to shallow right that should have been caught, but the Astros right fielder lost it in the lights to give the Royals a second base runner with two outs on a fly ball that should have been out three, allowing the hitless Astros to remain down, 1-0, with a chance to still pull off a successful comeback.

Didn’t Happen

The “error” allowed Hosmer to then come to the plate and bop a double to deep left that scored the two runners for KC, upping their lead to 3-0, and seriously reducing the odds on the Astros’ sleepy offense coming back against Kennedy of the Royals and his no-hit stuff tonight.

In frustration, I came here to write my column on the lighting issue, regardless if the consequence tonight of Springer’s “lost-in-the-lights” ball results in a Royals blow-out win, a no-hitter by Kennedy of KC, or an incredible home comeback win for Houston.

Is there something different about the brightness now of some lights? Is Springer the only one to have had this problem in right field? Or is it a problem for all outfielders because of,  either or both, the lights have been installed at a bad height, one that affects vision? Or is the intensity of the lights simply blinding in spots – or at too many angles?

This problem needs to be explored and resolved – and not swept under the natural grass turf as if it were something that never happened.

Glad Tonight Wasn’t Game 7 of The World Series

What if tonight had been Game Seven of the World Series, with Houston hitless and trailing only 1-0 in the top of the 6th? How would we all feel then if an error in right, like the “error” charged to Springer tonight left the inning open on a play that should have been the end of inning? And how would we then feel as fans if our NL opponents then took advantage by adding two or more runs as a result, effectively killing the Astros’ chances of coming back and winning the game and the World Series?

Under those circumstances, would the explanations that “George unfortunately lost it in the lights” or “it’s too bad George hasn’t learned how to approach balls hit into the lights a little better” be enough? – Would either of those stories make us feel OK or better about what just happened?

I don’t think so!

Our Astros Loss Coroner Needs to Study This One Hard

Losing 7 of your first 10 games of the 2016 season is most frustrating. It’s too early to panic, but it’s never too early to look into structural, functional, or light intensity or directional beaming issues – or to take a much closer remedial look at an outfielder’s needs for instructional help on playing the lights. All I know from playing outfield under much worse lighted amateur fields is this: If you can’t see the ball, you can’t catch the ball.

Look into it, Astros. – With all the hope, talent, and possibility that’s on the line for the club in 2016, it’s the least that can be done to help avoid this kind of deadly gaffe down the line. It only takes one seriously deep and neglected pot hole on the road to happy destiny to end the trip at any point along the way.


eagle-0rangeBill McCurdy

Publisher, Editor, Writer

The Pecan Park Eagle

Houston, Texas



One Response to “What’s with the Lights at Minute Maid Park?”

  1. gregclucas Says:

    Have we heard anything from the KC RF?. LED lights are in other ballparks I am sure. Perhaps they need to be re-adjusted and aimed better? There is no going back to old technology so Springer and others will have to adjust by wearing lenses that cut glare or just by getting used to what they have to deal with.

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