If it was just a matter of heading to Washington, DC for the day, the matter of rescheduling Sunday’s postponement might not be such a big deal. And contrary to what more than a few Nationals and Brewers fans seem to think, it’s not even a matter of having to play in the rain…again.
Thursday would have been the Cubs’ first scheduled day off after 23 games in 23 days, so playing at all is tough in the first place. Then you consider that they’ve got a game Wednesday night in Chicago, followed by a Friday afternoon game, also in Chicago. And the already difficult logistics are made even more so by the impending landfall of Hurricane Florence.
Additional rain could wash out Thursday’s game, or worse, could prevent the Cubs from getting into or out of the DC area. All things considered, it was an egregiously stupid decision on the league’s part to schedule the game the way they did. Next thing you know, they’ll be trying to put runners on second in extra innings.
This confluence of extenuating circumstances has the Cubs continuing their efforts to convince MLB to push the game to the end of the season, which is what should have happened in the first place. But because you can never count on common sense to rule the day, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney told the Bernstein & McKnight Show that contingencies are also being developed.
“We’re assuming we’re playing in Washington on Thursday and therefore it would help if we finish late in Washington on Thursday to play a little later here on Friday,” Kenney explained. “That’s the most we can do at the moment and continue to monitor the storm and really just hope for the best for the folks on the East Coast.”
Proceeding with the expectation that Thursday’s game will be played, Kenney said the team is working with the city to push Friday’s 1:20pm CT start time with Reds back to late afternoon or evening. There’s a city ordinance that prevents the Cubs from playing night games on Fridays or Saturdays, but they managed to get it lifted once before.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel granted a one-time exception to the ordinance, allowing the Cubs to push their start time on Friday, September 8 to 7:05pm. The Brewers, who were in town to play the Cubs that weekend, felt it afforded the home team an unfair advantage and “vigorously objected” to the change. Because, you know, it’s totally cheating for the Cubs to not be the only team playing a Friday home game during the day.
Making good decisions hasn’t been the hallmark of Rob Manfred’s tenure as MLB commissioner, but it’d sure be nice for the league to make the smart call here. There really aren’t any options left at this point, either. Though the possibility of playing at a neutral site had come up, there’s too little time to make it work.
So for now, the Cubs will hope for the best and expect the worst.