With roof open, Braves-Marlins game is halted by rain

MIAMI (AP) The Miami Marlins' season opener against the Atlanta Braves was halted for 16 minutes Monday because of rain - a first at 3-year-old Marlins Park, which has a retractable roof.

Marlins president David Samson took the blame, saying he was monitoring the weather on his cell phone and didn't expect rain.

''This will be my last game with the Marlins,'' Samson said jokingly. ''I've enjoyed my 14 seasons here.''

There was no rain in the forecast, and the roof was open when the shower hit in the second inning. The roof began closing shortly after the rain started, but it takes nearly 15 minutes to shut, and as the infield became soaked the umpires stopped play.

Some fans booed. Many others had already sought refuge on the concourse.

The delay was an unwelcome public relations setback for unpopular owner Jeffrey Loria, whose franchise has struggled to win the favor of fans. Samson had the job of informing Loria about the situation.

''I said to Jeffrey, `We're going to have a rain delay.' And he said, `I thought we had a roof,''' Samson said with a sheepish smile.

The roof was closed for 71 of the 81 games at Marlins Park last year, mostly because of South Florida's heat. Samson said he won't order the roof closed permanently.

''Definitely not,'' he said. ''I think it should be open all week, because the weather looks great.''

Then he laughed.

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