Rozner: One Cubs disaster does not a franchise make

  • Fans gathering outside of Wrigley Field before Sunday night's season opener against St. Louis later gathered in lines to use limited restroom facilities.

    Fans gathering outside of Wrigley Field before Sunday night's season opener against St. Louis later gathered in lines to use limited restroom facilities. Associated Press

Updated 4/6/2015 8:28 PM

It's just so Cubs.

I mean, really, it's just so Cubs.


With the national media having descended on Chicago for Opening Night, ESPN snagging the game and moving it from Monday to Sunday for MLB's first showcase of the 2015 season and experts from around the country proclaiming this their year, it's just so Cubs that they flushed Game 1 right down the toilet.

It was a bad scene, fans waiting in line for bathrooms, urinating in cups or simply bolting early for better and more comfortable climes.

Such mismanagement was inexcusable, and the Cubs admitted as much Monday morning with an apology to their fans and a promise of better service Tuesday when the Cubs face the Cardinals again.

"We want to apologize to our fans for the huge inconvenience," read a Cubs statement. "Moving forward we plan to supplement the existing restrooms with additional portable units and will continue to monitor wait times to ensure we can service our guests appropriately."

Even without the added issue of toilets going out of service in the upper deck, sending thousands downstairs and making lines even longer, the conditions throughout the park would have been unpleasant.

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And let's face it, on a good day without construction, Wrigley Field is no picnic.

Nevertheless, the narrative that the Cubs are already a disaster on and off the field is slightly absurd. Granted, they played a lousy game Sunday night, but if that had happened in Game 10 it wouldn't have been much of a story.

But it's just so Cubs that it occurred the night of a perfect toilet storm, leaving pundits little choice but to remind everyone that this team hasn't won since Moses was in short pants.

Thing is, had the Cubs played a great game and won Sunday there would today be wild prognostications and proclamations of World Series possibilities.

Also nonsense, based on a single game, but the restroom debacle would have been a much smaller story.

Moving forward, if the Cubs win their next five the storyline will adjust quickly from that of off-field reconstruction nightmares to on-field reconstruction brilliance.


That's the news cycle, circa 2015.

This does not at all excuse the stadium negligence or the refusal to play a season in another ballpark, nor does it excuse the Cubs' inability to catch a pop fly, move a runner over or drive one home while in scoring position.

Yet, had it been Game 10 it would have been just another bad game by an inexperienced team that even baseball ops has tried to tell everyone is probably a year away from competing.

Sure, it could happen this year, but no one who had taken a realistic look at the roster and the division was forecasting that going into the season.

Nevertheless, it was an abomination on nearly all fronts Sunday night, save the spectacular videoboard that is even better than advertised.

But think ahead a year, when the Cubs should come out of the box with a team in a position to compete right away and a partially renovated Wrigley Field that will start to take shape.

The bleachers will be fully reconstructed, the new clubhouse in place, a large portion of the concourse rebuilt in left field and -- one would hope -- enough working toilets to satisfy a crowd of 40,000 in the 21st century.

And few will care to remember at that point the disaster that was Opening Night 2015, when the Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight wasn't able to give their fans the same opportunity.

It's just so Cubs that it all came together on one inglorious night, when instead of snow the Cubs got, well, rained all over by the fans and media, with baseball operations being unjustly run off into the sewer with the rest of the mess.

Instead of a showcase on national TV that was supposed to reveal a new day in Cubs baseball, they were yet again a laughingstock due to a river of events and a confluence of indignities.

You didn't have to be there to see it or believe it.

It's just so Cubs.

• Listen to Barry Rozner from 9 a.m. to noon Sundays on the Score's "Hit and Run" show at WSCR 670-AM.

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