4/11 Extra bases
* Cubs manager Dale Sveum has figured out a way to deal with the cold weather at Wrigley Field. He wears a battery-operated heated vest. It’s getting lots of use lately.
“You do have to manage according to the weather and you know that with these kind of games, wind blowing in and all that, they’ll be low scoring, and you have to manufacture runs somehow and do things that way because your fly balls won’t be home runs,” Sveum said Thursday.
Wednesday’s game against the Brewers was postponed because of rain and cold temperatures, and snow was in the forecast for Friday’s game against the Giants. Thursday’s high was forecast for the 40s at Wrigley Field. Can the Cubs use the weather to their advantage?
“No,” Anthony Rizzo said. “There’s no advantage in this weather for either team. You’ve got to try to get ahead early and hope the other team shuts it down. The other night, we could’ve easily shut it down with the wind and the wind chill. It was a big win the other night.”
Sveum did have an additional heater installed in the Cubs dugout to make it more tolerable.
“You just try to stay warm and then go hit,” Rizzo said. “You let your adrenaline take over.”
* Second baseman Darwin Barney will get the stitches out of his left knee on Friday, and begin a rehab assignment on Saturday with Triple-A Iowa. Barney suffered a knee laceration on March 30 in the last exhibition game when he slid into the right field wall at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Barney has been able to take batting practice and grounders. The Iowa Cubs play their first home game Friday against Albuquerque, and Barney was expected to play Saturday through Monday, and rejoin the Cubs on Tuesday.
* Police are investigating who dropped off a goat head at Wrigley Field on Wednesday. The package was addressed to Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts, but intercepted before he got it.
“It’s just obviously an unfortunate fan doing something pretty stupid,” Sveum said.
Said Anthony Rizzo: “That’s probably just an upset fan or a fan of another team. My opinion is it’s just dumb, but it is what it is. It’s kind of funny.”
A curse was supposedly placed on the Cubs in 1945 when the team would not allow Billy Sianis to bring his goat to a game at Wrigley Field. The Cubs have not won a National League pennant or gotten to the World Series since.
– Carrie Muskat