Crowds at Wrigley will increase, but Cubs not an 85% team

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Fans are bundled up in the cold weather as they watch a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 5. Fan capacity will increase to 60% starting on May 28.

    Fans are bundled up in the cold weather as they watch a game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cubs at Wrigley Field on May 5. Fan capacity will increase to 60% starting on May 28. Associated Press

 
 
Updated 5/14/2021 8:00 PM

The Cubs did plenty of complaining last season about how much the atmosphere was lacking at Wrigley Field with no fans in the seats.

So it's obviously good news to hear the capacity will increase to 60% starting on May 28 and could be back to 100% before summer is over.

 

"Yeah, I think that's exciting," Cubs manager David Ross said before Friday's game. "I think it just shows us getting back to normal soon and feeling like we'll get back to the lives we knew 14, 15 months ago. I think it needs to happen. Just the little bit we've had so far, the 20% has been so nice, so much different than last year.

"The vibe around the park, their energy, it's been great. I've told some of the new coaches here many times just about a packed house here on a day game, there's nothing like it. The fans going crazy and 'Go Cubs Go,' everybody singing at the top of their lungs after a win just is a really good feeling. Really is a home-field advantage for us."

While things are slowly starting to get back to normal, Ross reported that the Cubs have not reached the 85% vaccinated level, which would loosen some of the pandemic restrictions around the team, per MLB rules.

"We haven't got to 85%," Ross said. "It's probably something that I'm going to continue to be hopeful for. I don't know if we're going to get there, but I'm hoping."

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Roughly half the teams in the majors have reached the 85% threshold, according to reports, including Cleveland and St. Louis.

The obvious question is why have some players or coaches chosen not to get the vaccine, when benefits such as no facemasks in the dugout or bullpen and ability to gather indoors without masks at the team hotel are available?

"I think everybody makes their own individual medical decisions for themselves," Ross said. "So whether that's strange or not, that's all around the league. That's all around the world, to be honest with you.

"So you have to honor and respect guys' decisions and try to give them the reasonings you think are important. At the end of the day, it's up to them. You hope for the best and we kind of go from there and continue to try to follow the protocols."

• Twitter: @McGrawDHBulls

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