Recently in Wrigley Field
Tonight, the first Saturday night game since June 20, 1998 will be played at Wrigley Field. In that Saturday night tilt almost 13 years ago, rookie Kerry Wood struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings and Sammy Sosa hit his 28th and 29th home runs in a 9-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.
Last week, I asked what the Cubs could do to solve the seagull problem at Wrigley Field.
It wasn't easy sitting through the Cubs' 18-5 loss on Sunday. It was especially bothersome to watch Starlin Castro get doubled off first base after the rookie forgot how many outs there were in the bottom of the seventh. But it was the fans who were attending Sunday's game at the Friendly Confines who really ticked me off.
The Cubs have designated the batter's eye skybox at Wrigley Field as a peanut-free zone and have reserved the area for fans with allergies.
"I drink better beer when I go to bars these days, but at the game Old Style or Bud will do," Jim Coffman writes in Upper Deck Reserved, cross-posted here.
"Attendance Down Sharply At Wrigley," the Tribune reports.
We have some suggestions.
Does Ald. Tom Tunney think the street vendors working the sidewalks around Wrigley Field are stupid?
"I don't really like the Cubs - 1984 turned me into a White Sox fan and an eternal baseball pessimist," Drew Adamek writes on the Beachwood Reporter.
"I'll admit it outright: I am not a Cubs fan because I like winning once in awhile. I don't buy into the lovable losers bullshit; being a baseball fan is too expensive and time-consuming to embrace constant mediocrity.
"The Cubs are just too goddamned disappointing every year for me to invest any interest in them. One devastating childhood heartbreak is all a team gets out of me.
"But there is one thing that I like about the Cubs: Wrigley Field. The only thing about the Cubs worth a damn to me is their ballpark. I love all great ballparks: Camden, Wrigley, the old Milwaukee County Stadium. The experience of going to a baseball game in a real park - the sun, the beer, the hot dogs, the history - is as American and traditional as it gets.
"Wrigley is a baseball - and a Chicago - treasure and it therefore breaks my heart that it's going to be defiled and desecrated in such a crass, commercial way. I am talking, of course, about the proposed Toyota sign. If this act of commercial graffiti happens, it will be an unforgivable defacing of one of the only true baseball temples left.
"I fear exploiting and weakening the tactile experience of going to a game more than I fear physical, cosmetic changes. Common places - ballparks, museums, plazas - collectively mean something, and when we change those places, we change our identity. Our experiences and memories become different; we lose something about ourselves every time we sell out our sacred places.
"If our temples are simply marketing opportunities then what do we keep sacred? (Right, before we go on about baseball as a business, I am asking that we keep one or two places culturally pristine to preserve what is great about America.)
"But fuck it, if the floodgates to commercial desecration are open why not go all the way? I mean, if you paint over Mona Lisa's smile, you might as well turn the rest of the portrait into a CoverGirl ad, right? If we can't enjoy simple pleasures without commercial intrusion then why bother anymore?"
Here, then, are Drew Adamek's suggestions for ways to further desecrate Wrigley by leaving no marketing stone unturned:
"Wrigley Field is not a museum," Cubs chairman Tom Ricketts told the Tribune editorial board on Friday. "We have to look for revenue opportunities."
"Marlon Byrd has become a fan favorite in his first few weeks as a Cub, and has been trading salaams with the bleacher bums before every game," Paul Sullivan writes in the Tribune.