A Lack of Baseball Weather

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The Cubs played a ridiculous game in not-so-fun elements on Saturday, and at least they won it, but baseball as a sport is not designed to be played when it is wet or ridiculously cold outside. I totally get why they tried to shoehorn in the game given that the Braves wouldn’t return to Chicago barring a miraculous meeting in the postseason, but it turns out the Sunday series finale would have to be rescheduled anyway:

It made sense logistically to make sure that they would only have to make up one game instead of two, so the Cubs did have to slog through Saturday.  It was nice that an off-day was allowed so the Cubs could recoup one more game with Anthony Rizzo in the lineup, as he’s supposed to be on track to be activated from the disabled list by Monday and now there is an extra day for everyone to rest up. But this isn’t just a Chicago thing, as just Sunday alone, four games (and counting, including the Cubs game) have been postponed due to really bad weather.

I’ve seen suggestions that the season should start on Jackie Robinson Day (April 15) and end before Halloween to avoid the worst of the weather, but that probably won’t happen for multiple reasons.

Despite the crummy attendance figures, particularly in cold-weather cities, in the month of April (and March this year!), owners want their gate receipts, and so the players will have to just suck it up. The CBA has already built in more off days (at the expense of just about everything else that gets the players actually paid) so it’s not like there is that much leeway in the schedule for makeup dates. Most teams in non-roof stadiums have that built-in off day to accommodate a home opener rainout. I suppose there might be ways to build in scheduled doubleheaders, but that may not be practical for teams who want to get as much profit out of each game date as possible. I can imagine issues with ensuring the stadium is emptied and cleaned up properly in between ends of the doubleheader, and then an extra inning affair would mess with scheduling and personnel logistics (overtime pay, turnover, etc).  And that’s before we consider the roster ramifications to allow for a 26th or even a 27th or 28th man on scheduled doubleheader dates to prevent fatigue and injury.

Short of NASA actually inventing force fields to deflect inclement weather, or an insta-roofing system for open-air stadiums like Wrigley Field, this may be something we will have to deal with for years to come as the season starts earlier to accommodate the extra off days.  Of course, if you want to help, we could try to reverse global climate change, but rain is going to come randomly whether you like it or not, and every team will have to deal with this to some extent. So for now, especially in April, don’t forget your extra layers and umbrellas.

 

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About Rice Cube

Rice Cube is the executive vice president of snark at World Series Dreaming. He loves all things Cubs, with notable exceptions (specifically, the part of Cubs fandom that pisses him off). Follow on Twitter at cubicsnarkonia

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