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. chicagotribune.com.
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.