· Joe Sez ·


You know what I like about rain delays? Pretty much everything. Of course I’m lookin’ at it from my own personal Joe Schlombowski perspective, which I freely admit is pretty friggin’ warped in a side-by-side comparison with just about anybody. The missus tells me I look at everything through Cubs-colored glasses. Guilty. I hesitate to point out, though, that I take my glasses off whenever she’s feelin’ frisky. I don’t really need to be wonderin’ what Joe Maddon would do in that situation, or who oughta be brought in for relief. Know what I’m sayin’?

Aaaaaaanyway … rain delays are my friend. Maybe not so much in April, cuz the green plastic can cause frostbite to at least one cheek, sometimes both of ’em. The ones in today’s game, though, were kinda like yellow flags at the Indy 500; I get a chance to make a pit stop, fuel up with a couple of loaded Chicago dogs and an Old Style, then head back out to my seat whenever I feel like it. Sometimes I like hangin’ in the concours for a while. Hey, Midwesterners are flat out the nicest people in the solar system, so you make a little small talk and, BANG … you gotta a new friend. Other times you GOTTA hang up there cuz the rain is biblical … like Noah’s ark is gonna be pulling up at Clark and Addison any minute. That’s what we had today. Loved it. Why? Cuz being at Wrigley is the most fun you can have with your cloths on, my friend. A rain delay is just baseball’s version of Viagra; it makes the game last longer, but you don’t have to seek medical attention if it’s longer than 4 hours.

Rain delays also give everyone a chance to see some of the unsung heroes of the Cubs organization: the grounds crew. Who thinks about them … ever? Their mothers maybe? Their wives? Those guys get no love, but they’re a big part of the reason that Wrigley is the cherry on top of the Major League baseball park sundae. Would you like to be rollin’ the tarp out there when the sky is falling? Yeah, me neither. A rain delay always reminds me that the grounds crew does a lot more than drag the field and lay a little chalk down. I tip the Joe cap to those guys.

Now I suppose if I’m runnin’ up and down the aisles the whole game hawkin’ souvenirs and cotton candy, I’m none too keen on rain delays. Why? Well, how the hell would you like it if your work day got longer every time it rained? Not fun. Remember that the next time you’re at the park, and be sure to give a little somethin’ extra for the effort.

Another thing I like about delays is wondering what’s gonna happen when play starts again. A long pause in baseball ain’t like pausing your DVR in the middle of Game of Thrones. You do that and it has absolutely zero effect on whether or not someone’s head is gonna get chopped off. You press play again and … THWACK!!! In baseball, though, a rain delay can totally derail what was a sure fire win, or a devastating loss. The guys get a little tight, a little cold … maybe have a few too many ham sandwiches … they could come back out on the field with about as much energy as a vasectomized dog. Let’s say Rizzo gets a Dear John text from his girlfriend. Might effect his play, right? Or, maybe she texts him some kinda selfie that says hurry the hell up and come home cuz this here is waitin’ for ya. That might have an impact on his play, too. Either that or he might purposely get thrown out of the game. Anyway, a good rain delay introduces an element of uncertainty, although without the same level of impact that it had before the Cubs turned into the 1927 Yankees.

To quote Bull Durham’s Nuke LaLoosh, “Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” And we all know what a friggin’ genius he was.