After lobbying to get the Cubs’ business side to consider adjusting Friday game times, Cubs manager Joe Maddon has a new cause that has an even more direct bearing on the quality of play:
The way concerts at Wrigley have “messed up” the playing surface.
Unsolicited, Maddon jumped to the defense of second baseman Starlin Castro Monday night after Castro was charged with an error on Adam Lind’s third-inning grounder – laying the blame with the latest of an annual series of Wrigley Field concerts that have tended to create headaches for groundskeepers.
“That was not his fault,” Maddon said. “That was a bad hop. Since the AC/DC concert, we’ve had a little bit of trouble. I don’t know if they were out there taking ground balls before the game, whether they had nine-inch heels or spikes. But they have totally messed up our infield. And it has nothing to do with the groundskeepers.”
AC/DC played Wrigley last week while the Cubs were out of town. Team officials said grass was removed for the concert and replaced afterward.
Castro said the dirt is fine but the grass is uneven and creates bad hops.
Maddon said in the first four games of the homestand, he’s already seen strange hops at third and now second.
“But prior to [the concert] I didn’t see one bad hop all year,” he said. “We’ve just got to get that ironed out.
“That was a weird hop.”