I’ve been accused of having fun at the Cubs’ expense, though I argue that the Cubs are having fun at their own expense, and I’m simply reporting what is happening. As a Sox fan, you couldn’t make up the real problems that the Cubs create for themselves.
And when I thought it couldn’t get worse, some Cubs fans help ease the shipwreck a little deeper.
According to a report at “Bleed Cubbie Blue” (part of the SB Network of websites), which itself is likely greatly misinterpreting a Chicago Tribune article by Mark Gonzales … the REAL culprit behind the lack of hot dog buns and long lines for the men’s room at Wrigley Field has been uncovered … and of course they are blaming the White Sox, because when you have run out of excuses, you blame the other guys.
Apparently, the Cubs realized back at the start of the 2014 season that they would not have the reconstruction project done on time, and that they wanted to start their season on the road. The MLB schedules are made up more than a year in advance, and as such the Cubs were scheduled to open at home vs. the Cardinals.
Cubs schedules are complicated because they share the city with the White Sox, and it is very rare for both teams to be playing in town at the same time (this is to keep traffic and police requirements to a minimum) … it still happens maybe a few times a year, but with Opening weekend being an especially busy time, it is not realistic to have both teams in town at the same time.
The Cubs apparently requested a change (which would have also required changes to the schedules for their opening opponents (the Cardinals), and the Sox opening opponents (the Royals … who as defending AL champions were scheduled to open at home). According to the story, the Sox vetoed the Cubs request by saying that they didn’t want to open at home in consecutive years.
Is this true? It might be, though I suspect that IF it is true, the Sox were simply repaying decades of the Cubs and the Tribune Company rubbing the noses of the Sox and their fans in the ground, capitalizing on their media empire that billed the Cubs as Chicago’s premier baseball team (despite having a worse record than the Sox). In fact Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported (based on an interview on Chicago radio station WSCR) that as the Cubs knew they would not have Wrigley Field ready on time, they considered supplicating themselves to Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf to rent U.S. Cellular Field. According to the report, they didn’t bother asking because they knew the White Sox would say “no” … though I suspect the real reason is that they were afraid he would say “yes”, in return for exorbitant sums of money that the Cubs might have had to fork over … knowing that as their fans suffered, the Sox could say “we did make the offer”. But I digress.
The Chicago Cubs must realize by now that anyone can have a bad day, week, month, year, or even century. The Cubs have repeatedly assured fans that on the far side of these projects is a bright shiny future for the Cubs. If that is the case, fine, fans, players, and ownership have nothing to worry about, and while there are some pretty bad missteps along the way, there is a light on the horizon. That said, blaming others for your mistakes is not really classy. I’m not laying this one on the Cubs, but the way Al Yellon carries on (not directly accusing Jerry Reinsdorf, but coming close) while implicating MLB for “dropping the ball” … sorry Al … it is the Cubs front office who dropped the ball. Blaming others for your team’s lack of foresight is pretty unbecoming. If the schedule was a big deal, the Cubs could have put off construction for a year. If the comfort of their fans was a big deal, they would have had sufficient facilities for the fans. From this outsider’s perspective, it is yet another example of some corporate billionaire who thinks because he has money he knows how to do anything, and again managing to screw things up.
I’m sure brighter days rally are ahead for the Cubs, but that is no reason to blame anyone else for the mistakes of the front office. If the situation were reversed, and Hawk Harrelson attacked the Cubs for not allowing a schedule change and thus implying the Cubs ruined Opening Day on the South Side, we would never hear the end of it from Cubdom.