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Joe Maddon expresses unhappiness over Cubs’ ‘awkward schedule’

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Joe Maddon on Monday expressed some dissatisfaction over the fact the Chicago Cubs had a day game on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks only to travel back home for an early-afternoon home game on Memorial Day against the Washington Nationals.

“I don’t understand why [the] Memorial game has to be played during the day,” Maddon said ahead of Monday’s game, ultimately a 2-1 loss, via ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. “There’s fireworks and stuff [you can do at night].”

The Cubs play more day games than any other team in baseball, which often makes for some quick turnarounds when traveling from one city to another, especially when one of those games is played at Wrigley Field, where the Cubs play less night games than any other team.

“Quite frankly to play a day game two time zones away then come back [to] another one the next day … it’s tough,” Maddon said. “It’s not easy, but we’re not going to make excuses.”

Rogers notes in his report that the Cubs are restricted by the city of Chicago to only 43 night games per season while the major league average is 54. It is also pointed out that the Cubs have five different start times during its current six-game homestand.

The difficulties the Cubs face due to the restrictions the team faces regarding the times of games at its own ballpark have long been a point of contention for its managers and front office. Still, Major League Baseball insists it does its best to not make schedules too unfair to any particular team.

“The season schedule represents one of the toughest exercises by MLB every year,” the league said in part. “The league does its best to accommodate every club while managing very tight time frames.”

Despite his gripes — which is something a manager should be expected to do so his players don’t have to — Maddon credited the team for not making any excuses related to tough stretches of travel and an abundance of day games on the schedule.

“To this point I’ve been impressed with our guys,” Maddon said. “I have not heard one complaint.

“I hope the players feel better than I do today.”