Weather or not, it's been an early grind for Chicago Cubs
Even in baseball, everybody talks about the weather, even though nobody can do a thing about it.
Same for the schedule.
Things are what they are, and the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals renewed their ancient rivalry Tuesday night, when the gametime temperature was 35 degrees with a northeast wind at 10 mph, making for a windchill factor of 29.
Cubs baseman Anthony Rizzo waded into the (frozen) waters Tuesday, saying on his regular ESPN Chicago radio appearance that, "We play too much baseball," as he seemed to advocate playing a shortened schedule, even as that would mean pay cuts for the players.
"I have an opinion," Rizzo said later in the day, as he prepared to come off the disabled list and start. "It's just me talking as a normal person. Obviously it gets a little blown up now. It's just my humble opinion.
"Do I think that we need to do that? No, it's just my opinion. But like I also said, I play first base. I know my lane, too."
Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer met with reporters before the game. The Cubs have had one postponement on the road in Cincinnati. The Sunday and Monday games this week at Wrigley were postponed because of cold and wet weather.
"There's no solution to it," Hoyer said. "The season starting earlier has nothing to do with what the weather is on the 15th, 16th, 17th of April. This is the time everyone's playing baseball. This is just a bad stretch. We'll get through it."
The season began March 29, as Major League Baseball and the players bargained in four additional off-days during the season.
The Cubs played eight games in retractable-dome stadiums in Miami and Milwaukee. They faced the elements in Cincinnati, having the home opener postponed by one day and losing Sunday against the Braves and Monday against the Cardinals.
Even though the sample size of the season is still small, Hoyer said it's to early to draw conclusions about the Cubs' play so far.
"I don't think you can evaluate much so far," he said. "There's no rhythm to the season yet. The games have been played in terrible conditions for the most part. On a positive or negative note, I would say that, too. I don't think positively or negatively you can draw big conclusions based on what's happened.
"I just look forward to getting into a rhythm. We went to Cincinnati, had the rainout there, had two days off and went to Milwaukee. Since then it's been choppy. We'll get over that. There's a lot of games to be played. I think we'll forget this time quickly and remember what it's like to be in here when we're not freezing. But, yeah, it's been a little choppy and hard to evaluate for sure.
"We definitely didn't play our best early. I think we struggled with situational hitting early. So it's definitely not the fast start we were hoping for. But, that said, we're 7-7 and let's start from here."