CHICAGO – For once, the Cubs and the White Sox will have plenty in common.
In 2020, they’ll play each other six times in just 60 games and share the same opponents as the central divisions face off over the next two months.
Now the north siders and the southsiders have something else in common: Scheduling changes due to the Cardinals.
Last weekend, the Cubs lost their entire weekend series due to an outbreak of COVID-19 on the St. Louis team that had started the weekend before. More positives have now forced that series to be played in doubleheaders at Wrigley Field on August 17th, August 19th, and September 5th.
Meanwhile, the White Sox had their game on Friday evening postponed until Saturday in order to give the Cardinals a chance to be fully healthy for a doubleheader. Even the start of that, 12:10 PM, is up an hour due to incoming storms expected later in the evening.
The Friday contest itself is actually a make up of what was going to be the Field of Dreams Game in Dyersville, Iowa.
It’s made for some adjustments for Rick Renteria, who will provide the first competition for St. Louis since July 29th. But like all season, the main thing on the manager’s mind is his player’s safety and diligence when it comes to the virus.
When it comes to facing the Cardinals, he isn’t worried about safety, praising his opponents and MLB for their caution in this situation.
“Their club has been extremely vigilant,” said Renteria. We’ve continued to try to tightened up ourselves as well. I haven’t heard any concerns from anybody.”
First baseman Jose Abreu also expressed confidence in the team’s safety despite the Cardinals’ rash of positive tests. He’ll take part in the pair of seven-inning games on Saturday before the team’s finish up the series at 1:10 PM on Sunday.
“As a team, we are afraid, we have concerns,” said Abreu of the virus. “But as we’ve said, MLB and all the protocols that have been put into place for St. Louis, and they are given them the green light, that’s good.”
So, at last, it’s play ball on the south side, and for the Cardinals, a long road back to the field in Chicago.