Tuesday night’s Cubs game against the White Sox was played in, to be charitable, not-nice weather conditions at Wrigley Field. It was cold, with temperatures in the upper 40s, windy (23 miles per hour blowing straight in from left field) and with a driving, misty drizzle throughout the entire game.
Why was this game played under these conditions? Paul Sullivan has an explanation in this Tribune article:
Why in the world did Tuesday night’s game have to be played?
MLB made the ultimate decision, according to sources, after consultation with both teams. The playing surface at Wrigley Field was deemed fine at the start of the game, and the mist was light enough to play through without fear of player injury. Once the game started, it was in the umpires’ hands.
Neither team wanted a doubleheader Wednesday, which makes for a very long day and eats up the bullpen. It would’ve been a split doubleheader, making it even longer. Both teams have a scheduled day off Thursday. But Wednesday marked the 15th game in 15 days for the Sox, dating to April 20 with a doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians after back-to-back postponements. They needed a break before a road trip to Boston.
So... yeah, to some extent I get that. The Sox wanted to protect their off day before they travel to Boston, likely this evening. (Both teams also had an off day Monday, though.) On the other hand...
The first thing Tony La Russa did when coming into the visiting manager’s office at Wrigley Field following the White Sox’ 3-1 win over the Cubs was put his hands to his mouth and blow some warm air into them. It wasn’t quite a Top-Five Worst Game Ever Experienced for La Russa, since, well, he’s been a part of a whole lot of games, but it was in the Top 10 for sure.
“It was unrelenting, man,” La Russa said. “It never stopped.”
Temperatures hovered in the mid-40s all night, with a persistent drizzle, creating nasty playing conditions. Tim Anderson has played a bunch of baseball, but still has a ways to go before he catches La Russa, so to him the weather was especially gross.
“It was probably up there as one of the toughest weather games that I’ve played in,” Anderson said.
“We can’t catch a break with this weather right now,” said Gavin Sheets before the game. “But that’s a part of baseball in Chicago. You just have to embrace and play hard in it. That’s all you can do.”
So... maybe the Sox should have said “Okay” to a rescheduling. (Although this afternoon’s forecast isn’t great, either.)
The weather in Chicago this spring has been, again to be charitable, atrociously bad. (Yes, I could have used worse language.) I noted some of what’s happened this spring in Chicago in the recap to Wednesday’s game and you can read that article for the details, I don’t want to belabor them here.
What I am going to show you is the National Weather Service forecast for Chicago for Friday:
Friday: Showers, with thunderstorms also possible after 10am. High near 49. Breezy, with a northeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 90%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half of an inch possible.
Friday Night: Showers, mainly before 10pm. Low around 46. Breezy, with a north northeast wind 15 to 20 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. Chance of precipitation is 80%.
Weather.com concurs with the NWS forecast and its forecast model for the Wrigley area shows temps in the upper 40s, biting winds and rain basically all day and evening.
The Cubs shouldn’t have to play games in those kinds of conditions twice in four days. Seriously, no one should.
So I’m calling on the Cubs to announce a postponement of Friday’s game now, today, Thursday afternoon. The Dodgers and Cubs are scheduled to play on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball this week, so L.A. will be in town through at least Sunday evening. Thus the game could be made up as part of a split doubleheader Sunday, with the first game at noon CT and ESPN’s game at 6:08 p.m. CT. The forecast for Sunday is for cloudy skies, temps around 60... but no rain. That’s suitable for baseball in early May.
And this is coming from me, someone who really dislikes doubleheaders. But to me, this seems the best option.
Postponing now would be respectful to players, who would know in advance they wouldn’t have to suit up at all Friday. It would be respectful to gameday staff, who wouldn’t have to come in only to see the game called after they’ve already traveled to Wrigley. It would be respectful to fans, who might be able to adjust plans with extra time to consider whether they can attend a Sunday makeup game, or if not, perhaps re-sell their tickets. The Cubs might even be able to sell more tickets, and have more butts in the seats, on Sunday afternoon.
Look, I get it. These decisions aren’t always easy, as I wrote here a couple of weeks ago. This one, though, seems a no-brainer.
Do it, Cubs. Please. For everyone’s sake.
The Cubs should postpone Friday’s game now and reschedule it for part of a split doubleheader Sunday...
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