|How much will Wrigley change if Ricketts gets his way?|
If ever there was a time when our government officials ought to take a hard line and not let themselves get intimidated by a professional sports team, it is this time now.
FOR THE RECORD, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts made comments implying he’d consider moving his family’s ball club if city and Lake View neighborhood officials aren’t more sympathetic to the renovations they want to make so that Wrigley Field becomes more like other new stadiums – as in containing features that the team can justify charging top dollar for.
Is this just a reiteration of the previously-expressed threat to push for a new stadium to be built at a suburban location? Is Ricketts really threatening to move the National League’s only charter member to play in its original city (the Braves were in Boston and Milwaukee before moving to Atlanta 46 years ago)?
Or is it just a load of hot air that means nothing?
Because when I listen to what Ricketts actually said, I don’t hear anything that’s new. Other than a would-be bully being upset that the other kids in the schoolyard are actually standing up to him!
PERHAPS THAT LINE is a bit harsh. Because I personally could care less what the Cubs do. Considering that I don’t really care much what they do on the field, why should I care where that “field” is located?
|Yankee Stadium lost a lot of character ...|
I just don’t hear any credible threat. If anything, we were a lot closer back in 1988 to losing the Chicago White Sox than we ever will be to losing the Cubs (we Chicagoans couldn’t be so lucky as to get rid of that “lovable loser” image the Cubs hang around our collective necks).
The day that the Cubs sign a lease to play in another city’s stadium (even if that “city” is just a dinky suburb like Schaumburg, and which the White Sox actually did with St. Petersburg, Fla.) is the day that the talk of moving should be countered seriously.
Until then, it just doesn’t mean much.
|... when it was renovated, and even more when it was replaced|
BECAUSE I SENSE that Ricketts and his siblings aren’t dumb enough to think they’d be better off playing anywhere else other than the humble abode of one Elwood J. Blues.
That century-old building is so much a part of the ball club’s character that they are the one team that ought to seriously disregard thoughts of playing anywhere else. No matter now unique or fine the new structure might turn out to be, there are too many people who go to see the one-time Cubs Park.
Just ask all those people who wear “Wrigley Field” jerseys to ballgames!
It’s like the New York Yankees, who had the sense in the early 1970s to not think of going to New Jersey and arranged for an overhaul of Yankee Stadium. Let’s only hope that the Cubs aren’t foolish enough to ruin the character of Wrigley in the same way that the Yankees did with their building that wound up servicing the team through 2008.
THAT’S THE REAL reason I’m skeptical of all the Wrigley renovation talk that focuses around giant video boards and the need for video advertising boards and a “Captain Morgan” club for people to spend more of their money in.
|Just as much a part of Wrigley lore|
Because at least the Yankees could still claim the playing field of the renovated park was the same place where the immortals like Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio and Mantle played winning baseball for so many decades.
What could the Cubs claim if they turn Wrigley into a commercialized mess? A story about how a black cat once pranced on this field and freaked the Cubs out to the point where they lost.
Or maybe it will come back to Babe Ruth? Future Cubs fans will say, “On this field now surrounded by commercialized nonsense, Babe Ruth hit a home run that caused our Cubs to lose, yet again!”