It’s becoming increasingly clear that Mother Nature doesn’t want the Chicago Cubs to play baseball. Ever.
The Cubs have had five of their 20 scheduled games so far this season rained or snowed out, meaning a full quarter of their games so far this season have been postponed due to weather. Not only that, but there’s even more lousy Cubs weather in the forecast.
First, though, the Cubs have had five postponements so far this young baseball season, four of which have come from home games at Wrigley Field. That’s in the less-than-three-week-old-season. Another washout was tacked on Wednesday, which will force Chicago to have to play on Thursday and losing a previously scheduled day off.
Well, at least the games that they’ve been able to play have been fine, right? That’d also be a big, snowy no. The Cubs’ average temperature for their six home games they’ve actually been able to play so far this season – again, these are for the games they’ve actually been able to play – is a rather unpleasant 46°. Throw away the one nice day – a 74° first pitch against the Pirates on April 12th – and the Cubs’ average temperature for first pitch at home games so far this season has been 41°. Yuck.
It’s also worth nothing that those temperatures are for first pitches, and with most of the games in the afternoon and evening, it typically cools down even further during games, with many of them being played in the 30s.
The chilly, wet and snowy weather has been so infuriating that it prompted the Cubs’ star first baseman, Anthony Rizzo, to call for a shortening of Major League Baseball’s season to avoid playing in chilly weather.
“In a perfect world, we’d start the season later and play a few scheduled doubleheaders going into an off day,” Rizzo said this week. “As a fan you’re going to a baseball game in April, and it’s raining, snowing and (with) freezing rain. Is that really much fun?”
Rizzo and the rest of the Cubs should probably avoid looking at the weather forecast for their upcoming games. The Cubs head to Colorado on Friday for a three-game series. So you guessed it, there’s rain (and maybe even a bit of snow) in the forecast in Denver. Right now, the odds of the Cubs getting in their game with the Rockies on Friday night appears low – once again. And the game on Saturday may be in jeopardy, too.
And of course as soon as the Cubs hit the road, it’ll start to get nice again in Chicago (they’re not home again until April 26th).
The Cubs are 7-8 so far this season (through Tuesday), despite most pundits believing the 2016 World Series winners should be in the playoffs this year and one of baseball’s best teams. But athletes are notoriously routine-based, and the early slew of postponements, as Rizzo clearly attested to, isn’t sitting well with the north-siders, and perhaps it’s helped lead to their early struggles.
If there’s one bit of consolation, though, is it’s not just the Cubs. Matt Lanza, an energy industry meteorologist who has been closely tracking the weather’s impacts on baseball so far this young season, noted that there have already been more than two dozen postponements so far this baseball season (the Cubs have been involved in a fifth of those games). A cool, wet (and yes, snowy) pattern has kept the Midwest and East Coast stuck in a winter-like pattern deep into spring, putting a damp, grey feel for many early-season games.
PPD game number 25 on the young MLB season. https://t.co/an7DMrY8o7
— Matt Lanza (@mattlanza) April 18, 2018
The 2016 World Champions may well be up against their most difficult opponent since Billy Goat: Mother Nature.
For WeatherNation: Meteorologist Chris Bianchi