MESA, Ariz. – Wrigley Field will be open for baseball next Sunday night, but that doesn’t mean everything will run smoothly, as construction isn’t going to stop so much as slow down. How will it affect the players? The Cubs are addressing it with them.
“On Opening Day 2016, you’re getting an incredible brand-new home clubhouse,” team president Theo Epstein told Silvy & Waddle on ESPN 1000 on Thursday. “It will be the second-biggest in baseball behind the Yankees.
“It’ll be a little baseball paradise. It will put you in the best position to get ready for games. You’re going to love it. It’s going to be a home away from home. You’ll have every advantage in the world. That said, in order to get there, you’re going to go through a year in 2015 where there’s a lot of inconveniences.”
It was revealed this week the Cubs might need an extra year to finish the overall renovation project, but the players should see better accommodations after this season. An indoor batting cage is coming, as is state-of-the-art video technology. But Epstein stressed to his players some of the hassles in getting there.
“There’s no player parking lot,” he said. “We’re working on solutions for that. There’s going to be times when you get frustrated and you’re going to want to say, ‘I don’t like what’s going on right now.’ When you do, I ask you to keep in mind there’s a means to an end.”
The annoyances for the players will extend to fans and Wrigley personnel as well, Epstein said, so patience is required by all parties.
“Same message to the fans and all of us,” he stated.