Sunday, August 31, 2008

My pro-Wrigley night game letter in Chicago Tribune sports

The Chicago Tribune printed this letter in the sports section of its Aug. 9 edition.

Dear Editor:

The night-game limit at Wrigley Field is a throwback to a previous era and should be lifted immediately ("Bats wilt in sun; club seeks weekend games at night," Sports, Aug. 3). The Cubs obviously suffer as a result of playing too many afternoon games in the summer heat. The popular term "June swoon" refers to the Cubs' fortunes as Chicago's weather turns hot; strong starts in April usually lead to mediocre finishes once heat and humidity set in. The Cubs are the only team to play home games on Friday afternoons throughout the summer. They must compensate for a competitive disadvantage as their rivals play 83 percent more home games at night. (Most teams schedule about 55 evening starts.) The Cubs were foolish to agree to these restrictions in 2003. As they shed their "lovable loser" label to become a perennial National League power, their hometown must allow them to compete with their rivals, including evening starts.

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