Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Is Wrigley’s right field video board the equal of ‘spite fence’ of old in Philly?

Wrigley, from back in the days when fans … 
A part of me doesn’t know what to think of the Supreme Court of the United States’ ruling allowing Ohio to strike would-be voters from the registration. But I must admit; the high court simultaneously restored my faith in it with its decision on how to handle a lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs.

The Supreme Court on Monday decided not to take up the case, which means the lower levels of courts who previously ruled in favor of the Cubs will have their legal judgment upheld.

… could catch a glimpse inside, just like at Shibe Park
AS IN THE Cubs no longer have to worry that someone will require them to take down that huge video board they erected behind the right field bleachers at Wrigley Field – the one that blocks the views of people who live in many of those apartment buildings on Sheffield Street.

You know, the people who used to regard one of the perks of their lodging that they could see into the ballpark and watch views of the Cubs’ ballgames.

Or in more recent years, the apartment owners who erected seats on their roofs and charged people prime rates for the right to watch the games from outside the ballpark.
Are the Wrigley video boards … 
Those owners filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Cubs back in 2015, claiming the scoreboard blocked the ballgame views they were making money off of. They claimed they reached an agreement with the Cubs back in 2004 that gave them the right to do so.

A FEDERAL JUDGE in Chicago disagreed and tossed the lawsuit, and an appeals court panel upheld that ruling.

The Supreme Court on Monday let it be known they had no intention of taking up the case. So there won’t be any argument by the high-and-mighty Supreme Court as to the merits of who can make money off of Cubs games.

Personally, I always thought those video boards the Cubs had erected in recent years decimated a large part of the ballpark’s appeal – one being that it was a ballpark in a residential neighborhood. But then again, I thought that in recent years, many of those neighborhood residents and businesses were taking actions that helped make the ballpark experience less special.
… the 21st Century equal of the Philly 'spite fence?
So the idea that anybody thinks they have a morally-superior attitude on this issue is one that is appalling. It is one that makes me grateful the nation’s high court feels no need to get itself involved.

I’D HATE TO think the court doesn’t have more important issues to address. Particularly since many will be bothered by the way it handled the Ohio case – one in which state election officials will be able to drop people from the voter registration rolls if they miss a few election cycles without actually casting ballots.

As much as I can see that people who don’t vote aren’t exactly being victimized, I am skeptical about the motives of people who are eager to reduce the voter rolls. Too much temptation for partisan politics to take over the process.

It may be what happens when people are too free to file lawsuits to try to get the courts to push everybody else around into submitting to their will. Because the baseball fan in me thinks of Philadelphia and Shibe Park when I think of the obstructions the Cubs placed up at Wrigley Field.
Baseball can take our minds off the inanities of elections

Shibe (later known as Connie Mack Stadium) had the infamous “spite fence” in right field. The ballpark built in 1909 (one year prior to Chicago's Comiskey Park) originally had a 12-foot-high wall in right field, with a residential street and apartments beyond it.

BUT WHEN THE Philadelphia Athletics got offended at the number of people not paying to watch ballgames, they added height in 1935 – turning the wall into a 34-foot-high barricade.

Which Philly fans argued was done purely out of spite – as though they had a right to view games for free. Just think if this issue was something that someone had felt compelled to file a lawsuit about. What if the courts had felt compelled to get involved?

Are the Wrigley video boards a 21st Century equivalent of the spite fence? Are they a part of the ballpark’s new character?

And should we be more concerned about the court feeling compelled to give power to political people who may be too eager to erase from the voter rolls people who might not vote the “right” way on Election Day?


No comments: