Ladewski On Wrigley : Nuke The Joint

Posted in Baseball at 6:16 pm by

Ozzie Guillen is already on record deploring Wrigley’s poor parking, if not the rat population. The Daily Southtown’s Paul Ladewski goes a bit futher, advocating the Cubs vacate The Friendly Confines (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)

The executioners did wrong to the Steve Bartman ball, may it rest in pieces. The lever should have been pressed on the monument that stands as the real symbol of the mostly miserable, rotten, stinkin’ baseball that Cubs fans have endured the last 61 years.

Wrigley Field, naturally.

As Baby Boomers will tell you, Wrigley Field is at its absolute best when it’s two-thirds empty. But pack it with 30,000-plus fans, and unless you’re one of the party animals to whom it caters, the atmosphere is about as comfortable as a detached retina. The place reeks of Old Style. The concrete has more cracks than the Cubs infield. The aisles are too narrow, the concourses too small. Stay at the Crumbling Confines much longer and be prepared to spend big bucks for a renovation project.

Even Phyllis Diller can have only so many facelifts, you know.

Obviously, it would take a lot more than a move out of Wrigley Field to turn this Cubs team into a contender. But what it would do is rid the organization of the temptation to build one that was long on power and short on depth and balance, rarely, if ever, Cubs staples.

So build a larger replica of Wrigley Field in a northwest suburb, it says here. They drink beer out that way, too, I’m told. Put ivy on the walls. Even take the old marquee and scoreboard. Because even all bad things must come to an end.

I defer to our Chicago readers on all of the above points. But I do hope you’ll agree, it is a very special day when Phyllis Diller receives multiple mentions at CSTB.

17 Responses to “Ladewski On Wrigley : Nuke The Joint”

  1. The Ghost of a Banned Commentor says:

    Ladewski is confusing the smell of Old Style with urine, but that’s asking alot from anybody.

  2. JeffWeaver4God says:

    Don’t bad mouth Old Style, thats all I ask.

  3. kt says:

    for christ’s sake don’t move the team to a northwest suburb.

    as far as the above points go, i won’t argue that it’s uncomfortable when it’s sold out. but guess what, EVERY ballpark is less comfortable when it’s packed compared to when it’s “two-thirds empty”. perhaps it does reek of Old Style, but so does my apartment (cut-throat, er cut-rate liquors on division sells 15 packs for $12. genius). would it be better if the place was soaked in miller lite? so the place is old, so what? the stadium has nothing to do with why the cubs blow, just as it had nothing to do with why they were competitive in ’03. its not as if building a new stadium would be the salve to soothe all the northside hardball ails just take a trip up to milwaukee or ask the fans in pittsburgh. if the cubs want to build a better team they should be thinking less about the arena and more about an efficient front office and effective on field management.

  4. del says:

    The idea of moving to the burbs is ridiculous. That’s a fantastic way to get the stadium back to 2/3 empty in a hurry. Problem is, where are you going to build a new stadium in the city? Is it even possible to tear it down and build a new one on the same site in one off-season? I don’t recall that ever being done, but who knows what ideas are floating around in the tubes of the interweb these days. Not like it needs to be well-built, it’s a hunk of crap structually and visually right now.

    The plus is that they will be able to start right after the regular season, cuz there’s no way the Cubs are going to the playoffs for a looooooong time.

  5. ben schwartz says:

    First of all, when on Chicago’s South Side, it’s pronounced “Old Styles.” As in, “Can we get some Old Styles over here, sweetheart?”

    As for how narrow and and small the seats and aisles at Wrigley are, well, maybe that has more to do with the fat-assed size of Chicago’s sports writers. Ladewski is right about the audience tho, who view Wrigley as one big tail gate party and don’t go for the baseball. They show up whether the Cubes win or lose, even this year, because Wrigley is a place to go get drunk cheap and sit in the sun with your friends. There have been arguments for a long time about how a modern ballpark could improve the Cubs (fewer day games, too) but moving to the suburbs and getting a new park would radically change the Cub fan base at games, whether the Trib makes money or not on them, and whether a team that wins on the field has anything to do whether they can draw fans or not.

    As I recall, a ‘zine called CONFLICT once reviewed the Rolling Stones when they played Shea. I paraphrase, but the author of that review (who now runs a web site to lure kids into on-line gambling or something) wrote that the difference between Mets fans and Stones fans is that the Mets fans know when to boo. Wrigley’s fans don’t.


  6. kt says:

    i would fully support any plan that involves tearing down the metro.

  7. Bob Cook says:

    Hey, I’m going to be bitching Sunday when I’m part of a probable full house at Sox Park (talk about sounding like a native — I’ll also throw in O’Hara Airport and Soldiers Field). I LIKED going to Sox games when no one showed up. Plenty of room, and my kids could stay in the Fundamentals deck batting cages or the Scott Podsednik stolen base race as long as they wanted without having to worry about a line behind them. Then I could go off and get shit-faced drunk knowing they were being tended to.

  8. kt says:

    ben, wrigley is a place to “go get drunk cheap”? i don’t know where you go to get your buzz on but $5.75 for a can of old style in a plastic cup isn’t cheap to me. monday nights at the empty bottle ($1.25 pbr bottles) is a cheap drunk.

  9. The Ghost of a Banned Commentor says:

    Agreed, Bob Cook, and might I add that the vendors with frozen margarita proton packs strapped on their backs are almost impossible to find since the World Series victory.

  10. Ed O says:

    I think you are all crazy. The stadium suits the team quite well. It, like the Cubs, sucks, always has sucked, and always will suck.

    Go Sox.

  11. JeffWeaver4God says:

    the cell is an even worse stadium than wrigley, not being from chicago but living here for a while, i’d much rather go to wrigley. which isnt saying much but when the highlight of a game is somebody yelling fight the next section over gets more reaction than the game, you know its one hell of a classy environment. the only good part about being in the cell is its very hard to the hawk. the hawk makes every other announcer look good by comparisson.

    scott podsednik by the way is the shittiest left fielder i have ever seen.

  12. ben schwartz says:

    KT: $5.75 for a beer and you don’t want to tear Wrigley down?

    As for the Hawk being both a Sox Fan and an idiot, why does this surprise anyone? The Sox haven’t had a good announcer since they fired Piersall. No wonder ditched the Sox for the Cubs. The only fights I like at the Cell are in the Fundamentals batting cage boxes. I hear these kids are basically abandoned there by thier parents who out getting drunk and the kids are left to scramble for hot dog scraps. No wonder they love Ozzie over there.


  13. kt says:

    ben, can you imagine how much more beer would be if the beer sales had to underwrite the cost of a new stadium for the schaumburg cubs? i used to like the cell because up until last year you could walk up to the stadium 40 minutes before the first pitch and buy great seats. this year tickets sold out quick, it will be the first year since ’78 that i haven’t seen a bosox game.

  14. Bob Cook says:


    You are so wrong.

    It’s beef sandwich scraps, not hot dog scraps.

  15. ben schwartz says:

    Having never wanted to actually see a White Sox game, I’ve never had this problem.

  16. ben schwartz says:

    KT — that last post was answering you. Bob, thank you, I stand corrected.

    My hope is that the Disco Demolition movie will get made, if only to see the scene with Jimmy Piersall in tears behind the scoreboard.


  17. The Ghost of a Banned Commentor says:

    If the Nazis at the Tribune were to ever publically contemplate tearing down the tourist trap on the North Side, the nostalgia attack coming from weeping protestors wearing Santo jerseys would be both sickening and overwhelming. Wrigley would have to be imploded without warning to avoid the PR disaster of some “lifelong fan” chaining themself to the Harry Caray statue and getting caught in the blast. Plus, without Wrigley Field I couldn’t chase a baseball game with a couple pills of ecstacy and night out in boys’ town for less than a $5 cab ride.

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