Scott Rolen has played the Chicago Cubs many, many times in his long career. He’s played a whole lot of games at Wrigley Field, and so when he speaks of playing there, he does speak with at least a small air of authority.¬†Even if he is a hated rival.

Rolen says, after spending so much time at Wrigley, he thinks he knows why the Cubs keep losing.

“The Cubs are very limited facility-wise and that dramatically limits the work the players can do day to day,” he said. “The clubhouse and weight room are significantly below par. They play a different schedule than everybody else in baseball. The day games are very hard to deal with day after day. Plus, when you have so many different starting times from 1:20 to 12:05 to 7:05 then play mostly all night games when you go on the road, I think the Cubs have their back against the wall.

“In Cincinnati we have a track to get loose on and three batting cages that a pinch hitter can use before he comes up to hit. (The Cubs) don’t have anywhere for a pinch hitter to get swings in before he hits.”

Rolen also told us that he believes that to win the Cubs need a younger team because of the grind of day games.

“However, with young players in a great city like Chicago, you have to make sure that you have guys who are committed to winning because the night life in Chicago can keep a player from performing at his very best,” he said.¬†

These are, of course, all points we’ve heard before. That doesn’t mean they’re right – but they probably are. Fortunately, the facilities are in the process of being upgraded, though not all of the new stuff will be on site at Wrigley. Some may end up across the street.

I also don’t think these are *the reasons* the Cubs haven’t won in so long. They may be reasons that it’s been more difficult for the Cubs, but there are reasons – beyond our mere mortal understanding – for the statistical anomaly that is 102 years of futility.

  • jstraw

    At the end of some season, the entire infield should be excavated to a depth of 25 feet and facilities such as Rolen describes should be constructed in the manner of an underground parking garage. Then the infield should be replaced on top of it. It should be accessible via tunnel from the clubhouse, dugout and future Triangle building.

    You think I’m kidding?

  • ed

    I’m guessing he didn’t go to college

    • bric

      Actually I’ve heard too that if the triangle building ever gets built they’re gonna dig up the street to put in a connecting tunnel. I realise that’s a big difference to digging up the whole inn field but I’m just saying it’s possible.

      • jstraw

        It’s more than possible. The impediments would be cost and whatever’s already down there. This is peanuts compared to something like the Big Dig in Boston. Here’s an example. When they built Kansas City International airport in the early ’70s, the centers of the three big C-shaped terminals were flat parking lots. A couple of decades later when that was no longer adequate, the excavated that ground to a significant depth and built below-grade, multi level parking structures. In Chicago, wasn’t this done under Grant Park? There’s some nice acreage right under the field at Wrigley.