KANSAS CITY, Mo. — "Bitter cold." Or as us Chicago natives know it, "April 1."
No matter how used to cold temperatures you are, though, you probably don't want to play baseball in them. And that's what happened Sunday in the Show Me State, as the White Sox series finale with the Kansas City Royals got postponed. Bitter cold — temps were in the high 20s — and expected snow accumulation was the reasoning from the Royals, who blasted out the postponement announcement three and a half hours before the scheduled first pitch.
Today’s game has been postponed due to the bitter cold and expected snow accumulation this afternoon. The clubs will play a day-night doubleheader on Saturday, April 28, with the makeup contest scheduled for 1:15 p.m.— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 1, 2018
"I think for all the guys that are out there on the field, your body's restricted a little bit, it seems like," manager Rick Renteria said of playing in the cold weather. "For the pitchers, it's probably the most difficult thing because of the feel. The ball feels slick. It doesn't matter what you do. You're cold. It's obviously something that's of concern. When you've got guys throwing 90-plus miles per hour and you're in the box, you probably want them to know where the ball's going as much as you possibly can."
For the White Sox, the pitching rotation will remain the same, not surprising considering 60 percent of the team's starting pitchers have yet to make their 2018 debuts. Sunday's scheduled starter, Reynaldo Lopez, will now pitch Monday night in the first of three games against the Toronto Blue Jays in Canada. That domed stadium in Toronto ought to prevent any further weather delays. Miguel Gonzalez will throw in the second game of that series, and Carson Fulmer will pitch the third. That sets up James Shields, rather than Lucas Giolito, for the White Sox home opener Thursday at Guaranteed Rate Field.
While it could be viewed as a potential silver lining that a team gets more time to rest early in the season because of more scheduled off days and weather-induced ones, Renteria — whose team is off to a 2-0 start — said his players would rather just play.
"I think you just want to play," he said. "So any interruption in that kind of changes the direction you're going in a little bit. We would rather play. I know everybody on the West Coast is playing every day without any problems. It is what it is. It's just the weather. You can't control that.
"We are routine-driven. Fortunately, we'll just have this break today and we'll go to Toronto and play underneath the roof and we'll be able to get those three days in. It is about consistency and routine. If this was a three- or four- or five-day break, these guys aren't able to continue to do what they do, that would be more concerning to me than one day. Even two days, you're still trying to manage whatever you can to stay ready. Playing the games is the biggest thing. It's the test, and that's what they prepare for and they want to do it as consistently as they possibly can."