The Milwaukee Brewers and Chicago Cubs aren’t just rivals on the field this season. The two clubs have engaged in some tense arguments off the field, mostly due to altered game times and scheduling snafus.
An incident in May — in which the Cubs cancelled a game on a sunny day because they said it would rain — kicked off the a back-and-forth between both sides. A similar issue cropped up Thursday that re-ignited the rivalry.
The Cubs announced next Friday’s game against the Brewers will take place at 7:05 p.m. CT instead of 1:20 CT. That seemingly innocent change has the Brewers fuming.
The entire issue involves a confusing list of dates and times. The main complaint by the Brewers is that by moving the game, the Cubs are giving themselves a competitive advantage.
Here’s how they arrived at that conclusion:
The Cubs are currently in the middle of a stretch where they play 20 straight days. The Brewers are the final team they play during that stretch. As expected, the Cubs’ players will likely be fairly exhausted toward the end of that gauntlet.
In order to get their players some extra rest, the Cubs moved next Friday’s game back. The team is playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Thursday night, so the Cubs won’t have to fly home late that night and then get up early the following morning to play the Brewers. All the players on Chicago will get some additional rest.
The Cubs are up front about that. They had to ask the city of Chicago for permission to move the game back. The city doesn’t want the area around Wrigley Field to be flooded with traffic many weekend nights per year, so there are restrictions on how many night games the Cubs can play.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said the city was willing to grant the team an exemption because the Cubs are “in the thick of a pennant race,” according to MLB.com. Local alderman Tom Tunney said the move “will further ensure a playoff berth for our Cubs.” Both of those quotes appear on the team’s website.
The Brewers object to that because, obviously, they would prefer their opponents be tired. There’s also a “tough luck” sentiment here. That’s the way the schedule was put together, so the Cubs should deal with it. The Brewers have an off day next Thursday, so their players will be well rested before the series starts. By changing the game time, the Cubs have minimized that advantage.
It probably doesn’t help — as far as the Brewers are concerned — that the Cubs waited until now to make the change. The series is shaping up to be important, as the Brewers trail the Cubs by just 3.5 games and just three games out of a wild card spot. Milwaukee was looking for any advantage it could get.
Despite the Brewers’ protests, the game will go on at its later start time. If the Brewers want to get back at the Cubs now, they’ll have to do it the old fashioned way: By beating them on the field.
More MLB coverage from Yahoo Sports:
– – – – – – –