The Chicago Cubs caught some grief from Chicago White Sox fans for postponing Monday's home opener because of snow, while their crosstown rivals played at Guaranteed Rate Field. But a South Side groundskeeper said that the North Side team made the right call.
Roger Bossard, the head groundskeeper for the White Sox, said the Cubs had to deal with more than 3 inches of snow, an inch more than the White Sox got due to lake effect at Wrigley Field.
"They had more snow, so I get it," he said. "[Cubs head groundskeeper Justin Spillman] was using the watering procedure, too. He's a very knowledgeable, talented young groundskeeper. When you've got more than 2 inches of snow, when you're at that 3, 3½ level, they made the right call."
Sox fans tweeted things like: "Sox play and show how the South side is a lot tougher" and "The White Sox playing through the same weather in which the Cubs elected to postpone their home opener is the most White Sox thing ever."
The parks are only about 10 miles apart, but Bossard thinks that there was enough of a difference in the weather to make the decisions different.
"I'm glad it was them and not me," he said. "I'm glad I only had the 2 inches."
Also, this is Tampa's only trip to Chicago this season, while Pittsburgh plays in the Cubs' division and will be back in June and September.
The winter wonderland at Wrigley caused the majors' 11th postponement so far this season, adding another picture to a growing montage of snowballs, ski caps and puffy coats from ballparks across the frigid Midwest.
The Cubs tried pushing back the first pitch by an hour, and workers used handheld blowers to melt the snow on the tarp. But the accumulation and cold temperatures were just too much.
The game was rescheduled for Tuesday afternoon, which was previously an off-day for the first series between the NL Central rivals.
"It's rough out there," reliever Steve Cishek said. "We're disappointed. We wanted to get this home opener underway. But at the same time, I know some guys in the bullpen probably, like myself, could use an extra day off just to heal up a little bit and be ready for tomorrow."
Chicago is the last major league team to hold its home opener. It began the season with a 5-4 road trip to Miami, Cincinnati and Milwaukee. One game against the Reds was postponed due to snow.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.