When David Samson's phone rang shortly after 5 o'clock Monday and he saw the call was coming from Larry Beinfest the first thing he said he thought was "something bad had happened."
Turns out the Marlins President of Baseball Operations was calling the team's No. 2 guy to make a suggestion.
"[Beinfest] said 'Hey, we've lost six in a row. I've got an idea. Let's open the roof and see what happens,'" Samson said. "I said, 'What's the temperature?' He said, 'It's going to below 80. It's going to be 79.' I said, 'Let's just try it.'"
Samson said he made two more phone calls. The first to owner Jeffrey Loria, and the next to manager Ozzie Guillen. Both agreed to it.
"[Loria] was worried about our fans, didn't want them to be too hot," Samson explained. "I spoke to the weather people and they said it was zero percent chance of rain, a nice wind breeze, our formula showed we could keep it open. We spoke to Ozzie, Ozzie said, 'What do I care? We lose six when it's open, we win six when it's closed, do whatever you want.' Ozzie was great. We decided to do it.'"
So, less than a half hour before Josh Johnson delivered the first pitch to Scott Podsednick, the roof was opened for a game at Marlins Park for the first time since April 18th.
Samson said normally the roof would have stayed closed on a night like this because the formula the Marlins use to determine if the weather is suitable (temperature, relative humidity and chance of rain) remained questionable in his eyes. But Beinfest's phone call and the unusually cool weather in South Florida with no chance of rain convinced Samson to go for it.
"The danger of this strategy is we win tonight and all of a sudden we hear from the man upstairs [Loria] the roof will be open at all-times, bring your umbrellas," Samson joked.
Samson said he expects the roof to remain closed on most nights this summer. "I don't know if this changes anything," he said. "But I'm still trying to hit my number of 11 open games for the season, which I promised you guys."
> As for the state of the team following six consecutive losses, Samson said: "We hope it's not April off. May on. June off.
"But it's too early to say that. We weren't hitting. The pitching has been holding us in so many tight games where they weren't getting support. Pitching has a hick up and you're not hitting you're going to have a problem. Ozzie is completely confident. We're all completely confident. Obviously, we wanted to bring Gaby [Sanchez] back up because we're a better team with Gaby and Logan [Morrison] in left. That's the team we built to play."
> Samson said the team will make adjustments to the pricing of tickets next season.
"Basically, we've studied everything," he said. "When we do prices and renewals for next year we're going to have adjustments all over the ballpark. We did pricing without knowing how fans would react, where they would buy. Certain areas are under priced. Certain areas are overpriced. We're going to go through them and do everything we can to make it better."