As the number of postponed games grows, the Cubs make do in the bad weather
CHICAGO – As the cold chill continues to blow through Wrigley Field, the leader of the Cubs heated up a topic that a number of fans have been thinking the past few weeks.
Fewer games to prevent fewer postponement, even at the expense of a little money, was Anthony Rizzo’s message on ESPN Radio 1000 on Tuesday.
“Yes, guys are going to take pay cuts. But are we playing this game for the money or do we love this game?,” said Rizzo on the “Kap and Co” show on the station. “I know it’s both, but in the long run it will make everything better.”
That came just a few hours before the Cubs actually played a home game this year, albeit in temperatures in the 30s against the Cardinals at night that made things quite uncomfortable again. Reactions poured in from around Chicago and the league, who were struggling along with the Cubs with unseasonably cool weather causing more than two dozen contests to be rescheduled.
When asked about his comments before that contest, Rizzo backed off just a bit, but not all the way.
“It’s just me talking as a normal person,” said Rizzo on his comments on the radio. ” Obviously it gets a little blown up now. That’s just my humble opinion. Do I think we need to do that? No, but it’s just my opinion.”
More fans – and maybe even players – would echo similar sentiments after yet another bad week of weather. After Rizzo’s comments, the Cubs had their fifth game of the season postponed due to expected wintry conditions for Wednesday afternoon. It’s the fourth game since April 9th at Wrigley Field to get pushed back, and if the team had their way, it would be six.
On Saturday, the Cubs took the field in miserable conditions that included temperatures in the 30s with steady drizzle and heavy winds. Despite a memorable eight-run comeback for the victory, even Joe Maddon said the game shouldn’t have been played.
General Manager Jed Hoyer heard that statement from the manager and the one from Rizzo, which he addressed with reporters on Tuesday. For him, the Cubs are just trying to deal with things out of their control the best way possible.
“It was hard, it was choppy, no one was in a rhythm. Pitchers trying to throw strikes with freezing cold hands, slick baseball. It is difficult, and there is no solution to it,” said Hoyer of Saturday’s bad weather game. “But the season starting earlier has nothing to do with what the weather is on the 15th, 16th, 17th of April. This is the time when everybody is playing baseball.
“It’s just a bad stretch for the whole league and we’ll get through it.”
Thursday’s series finale against the Cardinals will be chilly at Wrigley Field with temperatures in the mid-40s, but sunny skies will allow the teams to get the game in. Three more contests await in Denver against the Rockies were there is a chance of precipitation on Friday and Saturday. Who knows when this bad weather might break for the Cubs or other teams, but the players are doing what they can do to stay ready for the unexpected.
“It’s a game of adjustments. Whenever we have that time off, take advantage of it,” said Addison Russell of dealing with the flurry of postponed games so far this season. “Definitely have in mind that we have to comeback to the field the next day and take care of business, but enjoy that time off for sure.”
It’s just a little too much time off for some people’s liking.