Just before the gates were about to open at Wrigley Field Saturday, word came down to security supervisors that the game between the Cubs and Brewers had been postponed. If you look at the photo at the top of this post, taken Saturday morning just before 11 a.m., you can see the field really was pretty unplayable, even if it had stopped raining, and I’m certain the Cubs didn’t want to start, then have a delay, then start again. Been there, done that on Friday.
And just as I was about to write that no makeup date had been set, the team announced a makeup date:
#Cubs and Brewers will make up today's game on July 6. 1:20 pm CT start— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 20, 2017
July 6 is a Thursday. The Cubs play a two-game set against the Rays the two previous days and will host the Pirates in a three-game series staring July 7, and the Brewers are completing a homestand against the Orioles before traveling to New York to take on the Yankees.
Because of the postponement, even though Jason Heyward had been in the announced starting lineup for Saturday, there has not yet been a roster move:
No official #Cubs roster move. However, La Stella will probably be optioned to make room for Heyward. Floro in Chicago for Johnson— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) May 20, 2017
So the Cubs are playing roster Jenga with relievers, in order to keep a fresh body in the bullpen.
Let me say something here about the scheduled bobblehead giveaway and the rain that’s been plaguing the Chicago area the last two days. Given the bad forecast for Saturday, the Cubs made a strong push to complete Friday’s game in poor conditions, playing about an inning’s worth in bad weather and then having a two-hour delay.
Given that and the bad forecast for Saturday, they could have easily made the decision to postpone earlier in the day and not have had any of the gameday workers come in, or the several thousand fans stand outside in the rain for the bobbleheads that will now (presumably) be given out on the makeup date.
I get this, up to a point: You’ve got a very popular giveaway scheduled and many people made specific plans to get this specific ticket on this specific date to get the giveaway. The Cubs don’t control the weather, obviously.
What they can control is the number of bobbleheads (or other promo items). I still cannot understand why they limit it to 10,000. Most teams give away at least 20,000 promo items; the Dodgers, for one, usually have 40,000 or even 50,000 giveaway items. More items don’t cost the Cubs anything, as the sponsor pays for them. In the past there have reportedly been issues of “where are we going to store all these things” if they had more items. But now, with a big new office building available, that should no longer be an excuse.
The Cubs had an issue earlier this year when they gave away replica World Series trophies, back on April 14. That was a nice weather day and so many people arrived early to get one, the team was forced to open the ballpark earlier than usual. With enough items for (nearly) everyone, this would not be necessary.
There has to be a way to satisfy everyone and not have potential crowd-control problems. Obviously on a day when the weather’s bad, that’s going to disappoint some people and there’s nothing that can be done about it.
But I think the Cubs should give away 30,000 of all promo items, especially popular ones like Saturday’s bobblehead.
There’s been no announcement yet on whether Saturday’s scheduled pitchers, Jake Arrieta and Chase Anderson, will go Sunday, but with the Cubs’ next off day not happening until June 1, I’d assume everyone will just get pushed back a day in the rotation.