CHICAGO – A lot has changed at Wrigley Field the past few years.
The baseline bullpens are gone, two giant video boards tower over the bleacher bums in right and left field, and there’s a World Series championship banner flying high for all to see.
But while the ballpark may look different, the deluge of day games remains the same.
“We just play way too many day games during the week. We just do,” noted Cubs manager Joe Maddon. “Guys need their rest. When you’re constantly going night-day or day-day-day and it’s hot during the summertime, it matters.”
The Cubs are allowed 43 night games. Maddon and other team officials would like to see that number climb closer to 54 – the league average.
“You’re able to come to the ballpark a little bit later, get your proper rest and then just be a human being,” Maddon remarked. “Get your laundry done. Go shopping. Get a haircut. All of those things, seriously. There’s just no time. You have to take advantage of the road, where you actually play more night games and you’re able to sleep and catch up on your rest. You come back home knowing it’s going to be more hectic.”
This weekend’s potential playoff preview against the Nationals features three matinee games, all with a 1:20 pm start time.
“They’re only here for a couple days. They get through it and they move back to a normal schedule,” joked Maddon about Cubs’ opponents. “I think 107 years indicates that it wasn’t such a good idea.”