This was a day for the Cubs to relax and count their blessings.
Their weekend series in St. Louis was canceled after the Cardinals announced three more positive tests for COVID-19, bringing their total to 16. But the Cubs got the news early and were back in Chicago before 8 p.m.
They have three games to make up, in theory, but the Cardinals are up to 10 games canceled by their outbreak and it’s not clear when they’ll play again. The Cubs are planning to hold two workouts at Wrigley Field before resuming their schedule on Tuesday in Cleveland.
“I’m not going to start complaining about the fairness or unfairness of this season,” Cubs manager David Ross told reporters on a Zoom call Saturday. “We’re all happy to be playing baseball and we’ll wait and see what happens at the back end of this thing.
“We send our best to the Cardinals and those players. It’s a scary time and we all want baseball to move forward and guys to be healthy. It shows how fast it can get out of control. That part of the virus is super-frightening.”
The Cubs made the short flight from Kansas City to St. Louis on Thursday night after a 13-2 loss snapped their six-game win streak. They got word on Friday morning that the first game of the series was canceled and by late afternoon, they were headed to the airport.
Ross has spent plenty of time during the shortened season praising the work of Cubs director of team travel Vijay Tekchandani, who was also drafted to serve as the team’s COVID compliance officer. Tekchandani came through again with the flight back to Chicago.
“Vijay again was on top of things, had the plane ready,” Ross said. “United did a really good job of getting a us a plane really fast. There’s a lot of logistics there, you’re sitting around the hotel and you can’t go anywhere, with food. Jordan (Brown), our nutritionist, was on top of things, getting food in there that she wasn’t expecting to have.
“Vijay set up an outdoor area for the guys to hang out. Just a lot of adjustments on their part and making sure everybody was comfortable and had some down time, but had some space to just get out of their room. All in all, Major League Baseball was phenomenal.”
Ross said some pitchers visited Wrigley on Saturday if they needed to do some throwing. The plan is to do a simulated game Sunday, then “something fun” on Monday.
“We’re still working through a little competition we’re going to have,” Ross said. “We were setting some stuff up last night on the plane.”
There was no announcement about the pitching rotation. Jon Lester, Alec Mills and Kyle Hendricks were scheduled to throw in St. Louis.
While the Cubs sit at home, Cleveland is in town playing the White Sox. So scouting opportunities are very available.
“That’s kind of my nights now, just sitting on the couch with my dog and watching baseball and highlights and catching a game,” Ross said. “I’m pretty awesome by myself.”