Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Wrigley’s week of infamy?

The image of Wrigley Field as “the Friendly Confines” took a hit this week, what with the sexual assault that occurred during a concert held at the stadium, and the fact that the Cubs feel compelled to re-assure people they’ll be safe if they try to come out to Thursday’s game.
How long until Wrigley Scene becomes just about baseball again?
Not that there’s anything about the game against the San Diego Padres that is interesting or threatening.

BUT THAT’S THE day protesters upset about the amount of urban violence in Chicago say they’re going to do some serious disruption.

As in they’re going to march along Lake Shore Drive north to the Lake View neighborhood – hoping to disrupt traffic. Then, they say they’ll march to the ball park.

Whether they plan to picket outside in the hours prior to the ball game’s 7:20 p.m. starting time, or plan to try to force their way past ballpark security to get into the game? We’ll have to wait and see just how raucous the scene will be.

And whether a group of people claiming to be high-minded and concerned about violence devolves into a group of gate crashers – we’ll have to see how ugly the scene becomes on Thursday.

WHICH WILL BE just four days following the sexual assault – which involved a woman who got groped while waiting in line for concessions. Then, when she went to a portable toilet to try to get away from the guy, he followed her into the port-a-potty and before she could lock the door, he grabbed her by the neck and made his “moves,” so to speak.

Personally, what I find most repulsive about this incident is that there’s a guy out there (police on Tuesday made public a picture of the suspect taken by ballpark security cameras) who thinks that a portable toilet is a place to have thoughts of intimacy with another human being.

Suspect being sought by Chgo police in Sunday Wrigley incident
I suppose something like that could happen anywhere there’s a public event that requires mass amounts of toilets being added on to accommodate crowds.

IN THE OVERALL scheme of things, these incidents don’t really make Wrigley Field some sort of hell hole that ought to be avoided at all costs.

But you just know some people are going to feel irrational enough to want to connect them, and most likely will have horrid thoughts in their heads about going anywhere near Clark and Addison streets as a result.

My own thoughts are the only reason people should feel a negative aura about Wrigley is the generations of bad baseball that were played there. The past few seasons of sort-of-respectable ball don’t erase memories of guys like Karl Pagel taking to the field all those years ago.

But on a serious note, one can’t help but wonder about the timing of this week’s activity, and how long people will remember what occurred this week. Similar to the way some want to think Chicago White Sox games are risky because of that night some 39 years ago when the rock ‘n’ rollers took over the ballpark to blow up the disco records.

OR MORE INTERESTING, to speculate on how well the Cubs’ security can handle the situation around the ballpark come Thursday.

Because I don’t doubt the protesting types want to make a scene – thinking that too many people who go to Cubs games are inclined to ignore the portions of the city where violent outbursts are likely to occur.
What the Cubbie talent pool was once like
They will want to spin anything that happens is that irrational Cubbie fans are showing disrespect to the protesters. While I also expect Cubs fans will claim the protest’s point is irrelevant at the ballpark and that the protesters are merely trying to cause trouble.

I’d like to think that Thursday ultimately will be a forgettable moment in our city’s history. A large part of that is going to be determined by just how rational the Wrigley Scene is capable of being in the face of people who could care less about Cubs baseball.


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