Cubs

Presented By Mooney
Cubs

The Cubs are always playing hardball, fighting City Hall and flexing their muscles in Wrigleyville, trying to maximize an iconic stadium jammed into a cramped neighborhood and grab another World Series trophy. The attitude apparently bothers the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Cubs could fly a W after this political battle, getting Mayor Rahm Emanuel to agree to what Ald. Tom Tunney called a “one-time exemption” of the city ordinance that prohibits Friday night games during the regular season, and moving the scheduled Sept. 8 start from 1:20 to 7:05 against the Brewers.

This will only add to a simmering rivalry, with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporting the Brewers “vigorously objected” to a time change made for competitive reasons. The Brewers have a day off on Sept. 7, when the Cubs will be playing a night game in Pittsburgh and then flying back to Chicago.  

“I don’t know – I hear different things,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said Thursday. “But I would have no idea why they would (object). If they did, you’d have to ask them.”

Maybe the Brewers don’t like the Cubs? Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell delivered this sarcastic line after the Cubs postponed a May 20 game on what turned out to be a beautiful afternoon in Chicago: “First time for us that we’ve had players treated for sunburn after a rainout.”

The sellout crowds – and loud cheers for the rock-star team on the road – are impossible to miss when the Cubs play at Miller Park. In contrast, the Brewers had 17 players in their Opening Day roster picture making around the minimum salary, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, adding up to a payroll of roughly $56 million.  

 

In the middle of a surprising, ahead-of-schedule season, the rebuilding Brewers did extensive background work on pitcher Jose Quintana and discussed a potential deal with the White Sox before the Cubs swooped in and made a blockbuster trade during the All-Star break.

The Cubs and Brewers will play seven times in September and create playoff-type environments. But this is a bigger-picture issue than the National League Central race for Maddon, who has repeatedly lobbied for a more flexible/standard schedule than the one that limits the Cubs to 47 night events a year (including lucrative concerts that are exempt from Major League Baseball’s revenue-sharing program).

“I’d love to see it on a week-by-week basis,” Maddon said. “It’s a great idea. Moving forward, I like it a lot. I think it makes all the sense in the world.

“For us to play Friday (nights at home) would make a big difference for us during the course of a long summer.”