I guess if you’re the Cubs, or Joe Maddon, and you’re coming off your first World Series Title in 108 years you can do and say anything. The Cubs are pulling a fast one, again. Remember “Rain Gate?” The non precipitous rain out versus the Brewers on May 20th at Wrigley when not a single drop of rain fell on the field and the game was called because there was a “chance” of rain. The Cubs manufactured a day off in the middle of their series with the Crew because, for lack of a better word, were in a losing “funk.” The day off must’ve did them well … they came back to throttle the Crew 13-6 in the series finale. I guess the thing that really irks me about “Rain Gate” is that Maddon said he didn’t know that it didn’t rain (during the “rain out”) because he was cleaning his apartment. No windows in his apartment??? He must live in a bomb shelter under the ground.
Keep in mind that the Brewers had to play that make up game on their day off in Chicago in between the Baltimore and New York series out East. The Cubs didn’t have to travel anywhere, they were in between hosting Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. (The Brewers did win the “Rain Gate” make up game 11-2).
The Cubs are now in a pennant race with the Brewers and the margin for error is minimal (fluctuating between 2 and 3 games), Maddon wanted to move a crucial game on Friday the 8th against the Brewers from an afternoon game to a night game, because the Cubs will be arriving back from Pittsburgh late after a 6:05 p.m. game they have against the Pirates the night before.
The Cubs are allowed only 47 night games a season due to an ordinance put in place by the city when they got lights in 1988. So, to get around the ordinance, Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Ald. Tom Tunney made the exception and granted Maddon and the Cubs the night game for September 8th, and were quoted in the Chicago Tribune
“The Cubs are in the thick of a pennant race, we’re going to make sure the Cubs can focus on doing what they need to do, winning ballgames and bringing another World Series back to Chicago.” (Emanuel)
(Tunney) said that he hopes the exemption “will further ensure a playoff berth for our Cubs.”
All and all, I get it, it’s home field (city) advantage, but, what I don’t like is Maddon pulling his Zen aloof act and not admitting that this move is for the sole purpose of giving his team an advantage for a win. Instead he insults Brewer fans intelligence by saying that he doesn’t understand why the Brewers would be upset with the move…. come on, Joe.
The Brewers have an off day the day before the game on the 8th and were probably hoping (like any other team) to take advantage of the schedule. If the situations were reversed, Maddon would be the first one opening his yapper in contention of the scheduling move.
Two questions… Will the Cubs ask, and get an exemption again on September 29th when they host the floundering Reds at 1:20pm after completing a night game the night before in St. Louis?
AND… would they have bothered with the schedule if they were up 10 games in the division?
(Photos courtesy of = AP, UPI, Getty, Chicago Sun Trust, Chicago Tribune)