The Wednesday Show Prep

posted by Steve Bortstein -

I wanted to be a television weatherman when I was a child.

I had my own pulldown map of the United States. I would pretend to talk to a camera and tell people about cold front systems arriving from Alaska and storm surges happening in states like Florida and Louisiana.

Little did I know - at the age of 7 - that it required more than just a really cool map and an ability to speak to be a television weatherman. You actually needed some kind of formal training in the field of meteorology. 

That would have taken away from my free time away from school, which was far better spent learning how to read past performance lines in the Daily Racing Form and watching baseball games.

So I turned in my pulldown map of the United States and passed up on my dreams to be the next Dr. George Fischbeck and decided to pursue the art of covering sports for a living.

Again, "you're welcome, America."

According to ESPN.com, Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo is advocating for a shorter season, even if that means a smaller paycheck for players.

"I think we play too much baseball," Rizzo said Tuesday during a weekly radio appearance. "Yes, guys are going to take pay cuts. But are we playing this game for the money or do we love this game? I know it's both, but in the long run it will make everything better."

Rizzo cited bad weather conditions as one of the reasons for shortening the season.

The Cubs postponed back-to-back games Sunday and Monday and are scheduled to take on the St. Louis Cardinals in freezing temperatures Tuesday night. Rizzo has been on the disabled list with back tightness but is scheduled to play Tuesday.

The conditions at Wrigley Field, however, won't be ideal for someone coming off a back ailment.

"I think playing in the cold sucks," said Rizzo, who was activated from the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday. "I was thinking about this the other day. When you think of Cubs and Cardinals, you think of a beautiful Saturday at Wrigley Field. You don't think about playing in 20 degrees."

Rizzo wasn't done with his griping about the weather.

"In a perfect world, we'd start the season later and play a few scheduled doubleheaders going into an off day," he said. "As a fan you're going to a baseball game in April, and it's raining, snowing and [with] freezing rain. Is it really that much fun? That's my question."

Rizzo conceded that nothing is likely to change, and players will just have to deal with the winter-like conditions. The Cubs' last game, on Saturday against the Atlanta Braves, was played in freezing rain, prompting both sides to complain. The Cubs haven't played since.

April is consistently one of the most volatile of weather months. Some days it's perfect, some days it's not. That's the price we pay.

Rizzo is from Florida, so perhaps a springtime day in that neck of the woods is a bit more palatable than it would be when compared to the sometimes brutal conditions of Chicago. 

And speaking of that, when Rizzo was traded to the Cubs (from the San Diego Padres) in 2012, did he never spend a day there when the lake-effect winds took hold? Has he really spent nearly 6 years playing for the Cubs without some knowledge of the occasionally cold days and nights there?

I find that rather difficult to believe. 

It’s the same story every year, and it always happens at the same time during the baseball season. The season is too long, the season needs to be shorter. My response is always the same, once we get past the chill of what’s been an extended winter-like pattern, no one will say another word. Baseball’s not always meant to be played in the most ideal settings, get over it and play ball.

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