Last May, the Cubs had a bit of a snafu regarding weather affecting a couple of games at Wrigley Field against the Brewers. On May 19, the teams played a game through a driving rainstorm, and the next day the Cubs called the game off right when the gates at Wrigley were about to open. The Brewers complained about that.
I’ll concede the point that those two dates could have been handled better; the weather forecasts and radars weren’t read as well as they might have been. Probably the Cubs should have called the Friday game and played Saturday, but that still would have given them a makeup game to play later.
When that postponement was rescheduled as an afternoon game Thursday, July 6, the Brewers complained about that, too, saying they’d lost an off day in between a home series vs. the Orioles and a set in New York against the Yankees. The Brewers whined that they had to move up the starting time for their home game July 5 an hour so they’d have an extra hour’s rest before the day game in Chicago. (Serves them right: their July 5 game ran 3:04.)
Well, guess what, Brewers: The Cubs lost their off day too, although it was in the middle of a Cubs homestand.
After it was announced Thursday that the Cubs received permission from the city of Chicago to move the game Friday, September 8 from a 1:20 p.m. start to 7:05, guess what? The Brewers bitched and complained again:
Brewers feuding behind the scenes with Cubs again, this time over next week's game time change. Details to come.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 31, 2017
Why would Brewers "vigorously object" to altered start time next Friday at Wrigley? Because the change was made for competitive reasons.— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) August 31, 2017
To rephrase earlier tweet, #Brewers did not say Cubs get advantage by switching to night. They just thought schedule should remain same.— Tom (@Haudricourt) August 31, 2017
The Brewers are playing a three-game series in Cincinnati that ends next Wednesday afternoon. Thus even with the original schedule they’d have had almost 48 hours worth of rest before their series with the Cubs began at Wrigley next Friday. And in reality, the Pirates should have been asked to play a day game next Thursday on getaway day for the Cubs, so the Cubs wouldn’t have to arrive in Chicago after midnight Friday and then have to take the field about 12 hours later — while the Brewers are resting up from their nearly two days off.
Now who’s got the competitive advantage here?
This sort of thing won’t happen going forward. The new MLB/MLBPA collective-bargaining agreement provides for four more off days within the season starting in 2018, and many games similar to the Cubs/Pirates game next Thursday would be mandated to be played in the afternoon.
Josh really summed this whole thing up best late Thursday:
The @Brewers are throwing a tantrum because they aren't getting an unfair advantage they expected b/c the Pirates wouldn't play a day game.— Josh Timmers (@Cubsminorswrap) August 31, 2017
Exactly correct. The Brewers need to stop whining about things they have no control over and just go out on the field and play baseball. This constant grumbling about scheduling is completely inappropriate and Commissioner Rob Manfred ought to meet with Brewers management and ownership and tell them to stop it.
I’ve written before about the city’s refusal to allow Friday night games at Wrigley — especially since they allowed two Friday night concerts this year. What’s the difference, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney? (Hint: There isn’t any.) Joe Maddon is absolutely right in this statement:
“I’d love to see it on a week-by-week basis,” Maddon said. “It’s a great idea. Moving forward, I like it a lot. I think it makes all the sense in the world.
“For us to play Friday (nights at home) would make a big difference for us during the course of a long summer.”
The city doesn’t need to allow the Cubs to play every Friday home game at night — just maybe two or three times a year coming off road trips, as was scheduled for next week. The Cubs have another one of these later in September, a night game Thursday, September 28 in St. Louis before a 1:20 p.m. start Friday, September 29 at Wrigley against the Reds. Again, in 2018 with a similar schedule the Cardinals would be required to play the Thursday game in the afternoon.
The Cubs and Brewers are 3-3 in games played at Wrigley Field so far this year (and 7-5 overall vs. Milwaukee). Here’s hoping the Cubs make that 6-3 next weekend.