Cleveland and Chicago split the first two games of the 112th World Series in Ohio’s Progressive Field, with the Indians taking Game 1, 6-0, and the Cubs bouncing back to even things up with a 5-1 win in Game 2 on Wednesday night.
Now the series shifts venues to Wrigley Field, where the Cubs and Indians play Game 3 tonight with righty Kyle Hendricks on the mound for the Cubbies against Indians’ right-hander Josh Tomlin for the American League champs.
Joe Maddon talked on Thursday about the Cubs’ 102-year-old home, what made Wrigley Field special for him, and what set it apart from other parks.
“Two things: The neighborhood concept. I know where Fenway is, but it doesn't really feel necessarily like it's in a neighborhood like this place does,” he explained.
“That and this is so enveloping. The fact that the bleachers come all the way around. When you're out there, everybody's watching and they're watching you very closely. They're very close to you. That is a big part of it.
“Beyond that, again, I know Fenway's got the wall, but we've got ivy on our walls, and actually it's Boston Ivy. How ironic is that?
“We have the ivy on the walls that turns colors during the course of the year. It starts out as a vine of sorts, and then it becomes this really magnificent green wall.
“Then, again, just the structure of the stadium, and then our fans. I'm not denigrating anybody else's fans right now, not at all. Our fans have been there through thick and thin, and they've hung in there really well. And when you interact with them, they're just here to support their Cubs. I don't get any grinding of axes and whatever.
“They've been very supportive of us, at least for the two years I've been here. That's what I've recognized.
“But I think it really sets it apart. I remember going to Shibe Park, Connie Mack, when I was a kid with my dad and my mom. I felt more neighborhood-esque. And I like the idea, and I love the new downtown ballparks. I love when the venue is situated in a vibrant part of the urban setting. I think that really matters a lot, and I think obviously that it can help reestablish an urban setting in a particular market.
“But it's all of that. And then I drive down Clark every day from Downtown, and as you get closer, you see all the venues that support all this, and also the people milling around. Anyplace I've been I haven't seen that with any ballpark to that level. So its enormity in its entirety, it's just different, but to have actual living spaces surrounding the ballpark is pretty cool.”
Indians’ skipper Terry Francano too talked about looking forward to the atmosphere in Wrigley when asked what popped into his head when he thought about coming to the Cubs’ home.
“I guess to me it's how baseball is supposed to be,” Francona said.
“You know, when you go into Fenway or Wrigley, you see all the new stadiums, and I think baseball has done a really good job of having the atmosphere of the older ballparks, and again, with some of the new amenities. When I was here, they didn't have the new clubhouse, so it was fun being at the ballpark until it was time to shower or go to the bathroom or something. Now I guess they've got -- it's really nice over there.
“But I like the feel of the older ballparks. I think it's the way baseball's supposed to be. I love it.”
Baseball as it’s supposed to be (no DH) gets going at 8:00 PM EDT on FOX.
Here are the lineups for Game 3 of the 2016 World Series:
|CLEVELAND INDIANS||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Carlos Santana - LF||Dexter Fowler - CF|
|Jason Kipnis - 2B||Kris Bryant - 3B|
|Francisco Lindor - SS||Anthony Rizzo - 1B|
|Mike Napoli - 1B||Ben Zobrist - LF|
|Jose Ramirez - 3B||Willson Contreras - C|
|Lonnie Chisenhall - RF||Jorge Soler - RF|
|Roberto Perez - C||Javier Baez - 2B|
|Tyler Naquin - CF||Addison Russell - SS|
|Josh Tomlin - RHP||Kyle Hendricks - RHP|