CHICAGO — The Cubs go through grass formations like a free-wheeling fashion show.
This season, the patterns have included a lattice-look and a straight-stripe design. The straight-stripe motif will remain for the series against Washington, which begins Thursday at Wrigley.
"We could do a lot more intricate patterns, but we don't want to take away from the game," said Spillman, whose official title is Manager, Wrigley Field Playing Surface. "People aren't there to see grass patterns."
Spillman said only one of Wrigley's 10-or-so grass patterns is named: Last year, the grounds crew made a plaid-looking pattern they dubbed "the Burberry pattern."
Wrigley sports a blend of Kentucky bluegrass that's cut to a length of 1-1/8 inches, Green said.
Spillman said his crew uses two Toro 3100 lawnmowers with 85-inch widths to make its grass creations. Each take about two hours, Spillman said. Mowers usually follow a string for the first line, but after that, the grounds crew "just goes at it," Spillman said.
"I see a pattern from pictures or some of my guys on the crew will come up with ideas, and we'll go and execute it," Spillman said.
Green said all patterns must be approved by Cubs executives before they're mowed into the Wrigley grass.
Groundskeepers can change how fans view the grass' hue with different directions of the grass blades, Red Sox head groundskeeper David Mellor told the New York Times. Grass blades bent away from the spectator capture more light, while blades curving toward the viewer make the grass appear darker, the Times said.
The Cubs are a Major League Baseball-best 20-6 heading into Thursday's game at Wrigley against Washington.
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