(CBS) In an effort to help the Cubs out in a difficult scheduling situation, the city has granted the team a one-time exception to the ban on Friday night games at Wrigley Field, allowing them to move the Sept. 8 contest to the evening, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
The Cubs’ home game against the Brewers that day was previously set for 1:20 p.m., which presented a short turnaround and tough travel as Chicago has a night game at Pittsburgh the day before. The game will now start at 7:05 p.m. The agreement was reached between the Cubs, local alderman Tom Tunney and mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Sun-Times reported.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon time and again has been critical of the Cubs’ number of day games in general, saying it doesn’t allow players to form habits and hurts their rest cycle.
“It’s a compromise,” Tunney told the Sun-Times. “It’s a favor. Coach Madden has his philosophy. I don’t plan to have it a regular occurrence. But it’s something that we’re all trying to work toward to make sure the team gets the proper rest.
“In life, we try to help each other. But I don’t want it to be a regular occurrence because there’s a number of businesses where Friday and Saturday nights are very, very important and they’re non-Cub-related. Theater, fine-dining restaurants that don’t do well when there’s a Cub night game. And Friday and Saturday in many of our businesses are make-it-or-break-it days for their business to stay in business.”
The Cubs currently lead the Brewers by 3.5 games in the NL Central race.
In July, Cubs president of business operations Crane Kenney criticized the city’s rule that limits the Cubs to hosting 35 regularly scheduled night games at Wrigley Field and then eight more floating games for national television purposes. The MLB average is around 54 night home games, Kenney said.
“Quite honestly, it should be lifted at this point,” Kenney said. “We’re one of the few teams that not only has to beat everyone in our division, we also have to beat the city that we play in to try and win games. It’s a very odd situation for us, and it’s one that I got to be honest, four times a year I go to the owners’ meetings, and the other team presidents and owners watch what’s happening in Chicago, and they can’t understand it. Because in those cities, they’re getting new ballpark built for them, and they’re getting street closures and … there’s no night game limitations. They look at Chicago and say they just can’t understand it.
“The real answer is at some point we’d love to not be handicapped, as no other team in baseball is by the number of night games you play. You know, we just keep working on it.”