Quantcast

Lance Berkman: Wrigley Field is one of the worst places in baseball, I’d blow it up

Lance-Berkman-RangersWrigley Field may be one of the most historic ballparks in North America, but Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman hardly cares for the nostalgia. The Rangers are beginning a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, and Berkman has made it clear that he is not looking forward to the visit.

“If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it,” Berkman said, via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Tell us how you really feel, Lance. Actually, he did. It’s not just Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914, that Berkman hates. He also talked about the weather in Chicago and the challenge it creates when trying to prepare for a ballgame.

“Chicago’s one of the worst places in baseball … really for anything,” he added.

On Sunday night, the Cubs announced that they have reached an agreement with the city of Chicago to put Wrigley Field through a $500 million renovation. Berkman was likely happy to hear that, but no renovation can fix the weather in Chicago. Berkman’s teammate Derek Lowe, who has also played at Fenway Park, said he understands why players dislike Wrigley Field but that he appreciates the history.

“Current players are really going to hate it,” Lowe said. “Everything is new and state-of-the-art today, and you have everything you could possibly need within walking distance of the clubhouse.

“But you don’t have to be a baseball historian to appreciate atmospheres. I’ve played at Fenway, Wrigley and the old Yankee Stadium. I always thought of those atmospheres as the best, and it didn’t disappoint.”

Berkman is not a current player, but he clearly despises the place. Rangers catcher Geovany Soto, who used to play in Chicago, said Wrigley Field is a “landmark” and that the tradition makes dealing with fewer amenities more worthwhile. Clearly there are players who appreciate the brick wall and the ivy, but it sounds like Berkman should get together with Luke Scott and have a conversation about it. Something tells me they would agree about playing at Wrigley.

Fist pound to Hardball Talk

Wrigley Field Concession Stands Had Pretty Nasty Food Conditions

I don’t know about you, but if an eatery has anything less than an A rating when it comes to health inspections, I’m headed elsewhere. If you’re the same way, you would probably be grossed out by the condition of the food concessions at Wrigley Field.

A recent inspection report from Wrigley Field showed that 20 critical violations were found at nine of the 35 concessions stands. Many of the problems were related to keeping the food at low temperatures. According to the investigation report, more than 24 pounds of hot dogs, sausages and hamburgers had to be thrown out from five different concession areas.

You ready for some real nastiness? At one concession stand, city inspectors reportedly found black slime in the ice machine. Try not to regurgitate your lunch.

The big reason all the violations were found is because the investigation took place on game day rather than an off day. As someone who attends ballgames, I’m glad the inspectors made the change. Who wants to eat at a place that would receive an “F” rating?

Wrigley Field isn’t the first stadium to have poor eatery conditions, but hopefully all the problems have been addressed. Rooting for the Cubs is enough to give one a stomach ache; no need for the food to do the same.

Thanks to The Postgame for the story

Proposed Wrigley Field Toyota Sign Will Ruin the Charm

First it was the gigantic pictures ruining Wrigley Field, and now it might be a huge Toyota sign. Chicago Cubs new owner Tom Ricketts is looking to add a huge, illuminated red Toyota sign behind the left field bleachers to help generate more revenue. The Cubs organization proposed this idea back on April 19th, and the city’s zoning department gave them their approval. On Thursday, the Commission on Chicago Landmarks will meet to decide whether or not the Cubs will have the green light to put up the sign.

When will the defacing of Wrigley Field stop? The ballpark has been tremendously improved over the last few years. Fans no longer have to worry about rocks falling down and injuring them. And that’s all the park really needed. I’m all about preserving historical landmarks and I feel like this will just ruin another Chicago landmark. Solider Field will never be the same after the “upgrades” it received. The once classic stadium now looks like aliens have landed on Chicago’s lakefront.

The Cubs’ organization is justifying the sign by saying that the team needs to generate revenue anyway that they can, and that Fenway Park has been changing with the times too, without going overboard. All I can say is that these are the nation’s two oldest ballparks — something that is extremely rare these days — and we must preserve them the best we can. Walking into either of these ballparks give you the feeling of stepping into history and watching a game the way people did 100 years ago. You can’t exactly get that old-time feel when you are staring at a giant billboard advertisement for a company that didn’t exist at the time the ballpark opened.

Sources:
Friendly Confines Fired Up over Proposed Toyota Sign [Beyond the Game]

Wrigley Field Ruined by ‘Upgrades’

As we all know, the Chicago Cubs have brand new owners this year — the Ricketts family. And boy, do they have big ideas for the Cubs and historic Wrigley Field. When I say big, I mean eight 19′ x 14′ photos of current players and manager Lou Piniella hanging outside of the ballpark right next to the classic “Wrigley Field” sign.  What are they thinking?

Let’s me start by saying this: that red sign is classic. It’s a baseball icon, and it’s a classic in Chicago and especially for Cubs fans. Putting anything around it just seems disrespectful even if they are pictures of Cubs players. Why on earth did they think this was a good idea? They are practically defacing a 100-year-old building. Part of Wrigley Field’s charm is that it is historic. People who aren’t Cubs fans or who aren’t even interested in baseball go there to soak up some history, not to see obnoxious giant photos surrounding the infamous red welcome sign.

All I can say is that I hope that this is just part of their opening week celebration. If they plan on keeping those giant photos in their current location then we may have a riot on our hands. Chicago is a city that is very passionate about its teams and its architecture. What are they going to do next? Take out the classic scoreboard? Remove the ivy from the walls? If you’re going to mess with Wrigley Field you might as well just knock it down, because this feels like the equivalent of doing so.

Sources:
Wrigley Field renovations [Chicago Tribune]