When Roger Craig took over the San Francisco Giants at the end of the 1985 season, he told his players that he didn't want to hear any more complaints about Candlestick Park. Candlestick was a nightmare for many a player. The winds that came in off of the Bay would take away home runs and make defenders look foolish on routine popups. Candlestick was Wrigley Field on acid and the juice, all at once . Craig let his players know that playing at the 'Stick would be to their advantage. Under Craig the Giants won the NL West in 1987 and again in 1989. As most of you already know the man that succeeded Craig in San Fran was our current skipper Dusty Baker.
Baker has not taken Craig's approach with Wrigley Field. The Cub manager has allowed his players to complain about the parks unpredictable weather conditions and the fans. Recently he said that at times it is easier for the Cubs to play on the road than at Wrigley Field. The 38,000 fans that pack the park everyday mean nothing. I guess the last at bat means very little to "the Mesiah" as well.
A Self Fullfilling Prophecy
After the Cubs had a 6-1 West coast swing, and Dusty and the boys had complained about the Northside Park, they came back home and went 4-5. Considering they took 2 of 3 from the World Champion Red Sox, the final outcome is disappointing. The Cubs are 19-17 at home for the 2005 season. That is not going to get it done if this team wants to contend.
The Cubs need to start dominating teams at Wrigley Field. They need to understand how to play at Wrigley Field better than their opponents. It's real hard for me to figure out how this team does not have a better record at home. Every game is sold out, the fan support is tremendous, the quirky schedule with so many day games should be to their advantage, visiting players have to be tempted by Rush St. Still for some reason Dusty and his players don't seem to use any of these things to their advantage.
The Cubs are gonna have to play 81 games at Wrigley Field. If they have to put someone up in scoreboard with binoculars to steal signs or something, DO IT! Do something to have an advantage playing at Clark and Addison.