By Vinnie Duber
While almost nothing in baseball is ever a guarantee, there is one certainty: April games in Chicago are going to be cold.
The White Sox played their first night game of the season Friday, hosting the series opener against the Mariners. The game-time temperature? A frigid 34 degrees, just two degrees above freezing. Even with the game ending in an 8-7 extra-inning loss, the Sox were happy to be in out of the elements after the game. Several Sox players said Friday’s conditions were among the worst they’d ever played in.
“The good part about tonight is that it’s over. It was miserable out there for everybody,” Adam Dunn said.
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The cold is supposed to favor the pitchers. Strangely, that wasn’t the case Friday, as the two teams combined for 15 runs on 22 hits, including three home runs.
“You never know what can happen,” Alex Rios said. “Just because it’s cold, you can’t say that you’re not going to score that many runs. It’s unpredictable. A lot of things can happen.”
Despite maligning what Mother Nature had thrown their way, the Sox weren’t making an excuse out of it.
“They’ve got to play in it, too,” Dunn said. “Everybody makes a big deal out of the weather. It’s no good for both sides. It is what it is.”
“It was pretty cold, but like I was saying, we have to adapt,” Rios said. “If we don’t adapt, it’s not going to be good for us. We have to be able to take that part of the game away from our minds and just play the game.”
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One player said he wasn’t bothered by the weather. Starting pitcher Jose Quintana didn’t have a good night on the mound, but don’t chalk that up to the low mercury level.
“He said it didn’t affect him at all,” said Sox coach Lino Diaz, translating for Quintana. “He said he saw the temperature and it was cold, but it didn’t affect him.”
Before the game, manager Robin Ventura said his players knew that they would run up against Chicago’s almost-arctic April temperatures, but Dunn said there wasn’t much to do in the way of preparation.
“I guess you could go to a restaurant and ask them to borrow their cooler,” he said.