Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Weather wreaking havoc on Cubs
By Bruce Levine
CHICAGO -- Dealing with April weather that seems more like November has been tough for the Chicago Cubs and their coaching staff. The team has cancelled two games within a week due to rain and winter-like conditions.
Manager Dale Sveum has pushed his players to embrace spring time in Chicago as a home-field advantage, but this home stand has been difficult to deal with.
"This has been a little exceptional as far as getting on the field," said Sveum before Wednesday's game against the Texas Rangers was cancelled. "Even when we have been able to get on the field it has been pretty miserable."
The Cubs are lucky to have only 12 home games in April. That said, this 10-game homestand has been a joke for players and fans.
"That is what it is," Sveum said. "The concerning part is the work on the defense and those kinds of things. It is a long season, and we have just come out of spring training. The bottom line is they just aren't getting on the field and getting any quality work done. Both teams are in the same boat as well."
Sveum called April the most important month of the season, but a 2-5 first homestand is hardly inspiring for anyone.
"Any manager is always going to say April is the biggest month of all," Sveum said. "You need to build momentum and to build a lead or stay in (the race) or just keeping your head above water. Whatever you want to call it, it is the most important month of the season."
The Cubs have new players who must get used to the unpredictable Chicago conditions and in particular Wrigley Field. Alfonso Soriano is the senior player, in his seventh year with the team.
"When the wind blows in it is not easy to see the ball because the cold and wind hitting your eyes, you cannot concentrate 100 percent," Soriano said. "This is not an excuse because I must do my job and concentrate on every pitch in every at-bat.
"We have to take advantage of the weather because we are used to it. The other teams don't like to play here. I know that from talking to those guys. They don't like playing day games either so that is an advantage for us. We have to take it."