Roof glitch soaks fans
The Toronto Blue Jays and Baltimore Orioles experienced some slippery conditions because of mechanical troubles with the retractable roof at Rogers Center. The team apologized to fans on Tuesday night after the roof was unable to close at the normal speed, leaving many people opening umbrellas to protect themselves from the elements. Groundskeepers had to use drying agents on the mound and dirt cutouts around the bases before the bottom of the sixth inning as rain continued to fall on the infield. The roof was closed when the game began, but opened in the third. It started closing again in the fourth, but the final two panels were still about 9m apart in the seventh. The Blue Jays had a 26 minute delay in July 2003, when a sudden storm drenched the field before the roof could close during a game against the Chicago White Sox. Toronto broke a 31-year record for rainfall on Tuesday, as the remnants of Hurricane Isaac dumped more than 38mm of rain on the city by 2pm. Showers continued into the evening.
Altidore called for US team
For Jozy Altidore, getting called back to the US national team is a dual homecoming. The US forward who plays for the Dutch club AZ Alkmaar was among the 24 players summoned to Miami to train for the looming 2014 World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica, a home-and-home series that starts on Friday. Then ther is the added bonus of being back in his native South Florida. Altidore grew up in Boca Raton, about an hour north of the team’s training site this week, and said “it’s times like this that you really look forward to.” Altidore’s next international appearance would be his 50th with the US national team.
Hammel gets back in game
Baltimore Orioles right-hander Jason Hammel is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list today to start the opener of an important four-game series against the New York Yankees. Hammel had a successful bullpen session in Toronto on Tuesday. He has not appeared in a major league game since July 13, when he left a start against Detroit with pain in his right knee. He underwent surgery the following week. Hammel pitched five scoreless innings in a rehab start at Class-A Frederick on Saturday, his first live game following a pair of simulated games. The Orioles wanted to see how Hammel performed in his bullpen session before deciding whether to start him against the Yankees, who now share the AL East lead with the Orioles.
Moonlighting refs banned
Four Singaporean referees were handed one-month bans after being caught officiating in another soccer tournament without permission from the country’s football association (FAS). The unnamed referees were found guilty of taking part in a promotional street football event in Thailand by a four-person FAS disciplinary committee last week. The bans for taking part in the non-FAS sanctioned event started on Saturday. “FAS takes a serious view on referees moonlighting and we strongly believe that as enforcers of the law of the game, our referees must continue to set the right example by adhering to all the rules and regulations,” an FAS spokesman said yesterday. “This latest verdict by the referees’ disciplinary committee sends out a clear message to all referees and others on our strong stance against moonlighting and future cases will be dealt with more severely.”