Hey there, weed eaters. I got a question for ya: What the hell is it with the Robin Leach plans for Wrigley Field? Excuse me all to friggin’ hell for just bein’ a baseball fan instead of a Rolls Royce drivin’, C-suite fancy pants with $1000 bills hangin’ outta my pockets, but I guess that just ain’t good enough for Tom Ricketts anymore.
Hey, I’m grateful as hell that Tom-Tom wrestled the Cubs away from the pinheads at the Trib, and has turned the club into something that has less than zero resemblance to the National League door mat it used to be. Major kudos for that, Mr Ricketts. The Schlombowski’s thank you. But plans are in the works to turn parts of Wrigley into some sorta private yacht club for the single malt sippin’ rich and famous, and they’re wedged into my craw like a friggin’ 2 x 4. That whole way of thinkin’ is a slippery slope, my friend. It gives me an Old Style headache — one that can only be relieved by blowin’ the foam off my medicine.
I suppose I should be happy that Wrigley hasn’t gone the way of the wrecking ball. If it had, not only would the best ball park in the galaxy be just a memory, but we’d now have a “kinda” ball park as it’s replacement. “Kinda” ball parks are places like AT&T, or PNC, that kinda seem like an old baseball park, and kinda have some of the idiosyncrasies ($10 word bonus for Joe) of an Ebbets or Crosley or Comsky or Fenway, but they’re just Kingdome’s in disguise. No one is happier than me that we’ve still got Wrigley in it’s almost original form. And some of the changes over the years have been good. As hard as it was to take at the time, I know we had to do the lights. It was a must. And the clubhouse? Sheesh. You can’t treat million dollar ball players like circus animals, especially now since they don’t play like ’em anymore. But not every change is for the better, pal.
Under Armor logos in the Ivy, for instance. I’m sorry, but Wrigley’s ivy walls are sacred. Or were. Puttin’ advertising on ’em is like farting in church, or takin’ a leak on the Magna Carta. Seriously, was that necessary? How much could that possibly add to the revenue stream? And the jumbotron. Yeah, every park has ’em and, quite frankly, I like seein’ instant replay. Still, for me the jumbotron is an extension of all the other crap that’s invaded the between-inning break. It’s as if ball clubs are afraid we’re gonna head for the turnstiles if there isn’t some obnoxious music breakin’ my ear drums, or videos of some fat guy dancin’ every second the ball isn’t in play. It’s supposed to be a ball game, not a friggin’ Chuck E. Cheese.
I know I’m in the minority on this stuff, but I don’t really give a crap. I’m of the opinion that Wrigley is part of the history of Chicago, if not the entire US of A, and because of that I think it oughta be treated with a little more respect, and with a nod to the undying loyalty of the average SOB that used to skip work to take in day games. That’s right. Where were the well-heeled back in the day (year before last) when the Cubs woulda had a hard time beatin’ the Sheboygan Little League All-Stars? Not at Wrigley. But now … oh yeah … now it’s cool to be a Cubs fan. And it’s gonna be so much cooler to be of the Premier class, not just the riff-raff in steerage. Can’t say it’s rubbin’ me in a way I like. The more management shoves us into the archives and turns Wrigley into a place where only bankers and lawyers can afford to go, the more I feel the sting of Tom Ricketts backhand.
I suppose season ticket holders have the right to the kinda stuff they feel oughta come with that sorta cash outlay. But where does it stop? Gold-plated cotton candy? Champagn-dipped curly fries? Personally, I care a whole lot more about the product that’s on the field than whether my Chicago dog is made outta Wagu beef or not, and I think the true Cubs fan agrees with that. It’s a baseball game, not a night club. Braggin’ about Wrigley’s room service treatment and doily-covered seat cushions isn’t about bein’ a fan. It’s about keepin’ up with the Trumps. Me? I’ll take the Joneses and the cheap seats any day.