CHICAGO – Common sense prevailed Sunday at Wrigley Field.
The Cubs’ scheduled game against the Atlanta Braves was postponed because of cold and wet weather. It will be made up at 1:20 p.m. May 14.
The decision was more than OK with Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who did not want Saturday’s game played, even though the Cubs wound up winning in stunning fashion, 14-10, scoring nine runs in the eighth inning to finish a comeback from a 10-2 deficit.
Saturday’s game was played with a game-time temperature of 38 degrees and a northeast breeze of 24 mph, contributing to a wind chill of 24 degrees. It only got colder from there, and a sideways light rain swept across the field most of the day.
Sunday dawned with a more steady rain and equally cold temperatures. Because this weekend was the Braves’ only scheduled visit to Chicago, the decision to play rested with Major League Baseball.
“Driving out again, it was remarkably bad,” Maddon said. “So it’s just the right thing to do. It’s just not about getting games in. You want to be able to play the game at a major league caliber, championship caliber. Yesterday’s game, we were fortunate, actually, that it was played in its entirety because that’s why we won that game, based on how badly the conditions were by the end of the game.
“So we’ll take it, but I’m glad the decision was made this way today. Even if it’s not actually physically raining, there’s a lot of other reasons that make a game unplayable, and [Saturday] is a perfect example.”
Rain no longer is the problem it once was because today’s fields drain quickly once the rain stops. But teams want to get the games in and take in the gate receipts, so even if the weather is unbearably cold but dry, the games go on.
That is something Maddon has voiced displeasure about for a long time.
“I don’t think it should be always based on precipitation, and I think it always is,” he said. “There are times when the game is not playable based on wind and maybe just a damp field. I’ve always thought there should be an actual number, like a temperature number. If it gets below that number, that’s good enough for me (to call the game).
“The game wasn’t meant to be played in these methods.”
Some solutions offered have been to have teams play within their own division in April because opponents visit twice more during the season.
If it works, keep doing it
Superstitions are a big part of sports, and Cubs players improvised along the way as Saturday’s wild comeback was taking place.
Relief pitcher Eddie Butler worked from the third inning through the sixth and was inside getting treatment when his teammates were rallying.
“I was in the training room getting some work done,” he said. “I was getting stretched out a little bit. Next thing I know, we were getting a rally. The trainer stopped and was like, ‘All right, everybody keep doing exactly what you were doing.’ I was getting the same thing stretched out for like 20 minutes. I’m like, ‘Well, I’m super loose now.’
“It was fun to watch it. The energy in the training room was a lot of fun. We had most of the relievers in there taking care of their business and enjoying it.”