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Cubs Fri Jun 17 2011

Fighting Words: Don't Call Wrigley Field a Dump

Thumbnail image for cubs.gifIt must be that time of year, because everyone is piling on Wrigley Field.

Surprisingly it didn't start with Ozzie Guillen or any member of the 25-man White Sox roster. This time it was MLB Network analyst Peter Gammons, during an appearance last week on WSCR-AM 670:

"The problem that [owner Tom Ricketts] has, and the Ricketts family has a serious issue, is they're going to have to understand it's not only rebuilding personnel. They got to make that ballpark livable. It's a dump, Wrigley Field. They're going to have to spend $200-and-something million on re-renovating Wrigley Field, do what the Boston owners did with Fenway Park. And the investment is far greater than, I think, maybe they realize. The amount of work that Wrigley Field needs ... there's a ton of money that has to go into rebuilding that place."

I respect Gammons as a writer, but he's off touch on this issue.

I think what people forget is that Wrigley isn't meant to be flashy, with all the bells and whistles that all the modern parks have. Wrigley is an antique. That's what makes Wrigley Wrigley.

Whenever I hear complaints about the conditions of what I consider the Taj Mahal of baseball, I think, let's see how good you look when you're 97 years old.

Wrigley has a certain charm that all of these newer parks lack. Maybe it is that generations have come to this park and it is a tradition that has continued for decades. I've been to the some of the newer parks in the league, but at the end of the day, they're not Wrigley.

The place could use some work, I'll concede that, but there is a certain aura to it that can't really be described unless you've been there in person.

ESPN writer and author Gene Wojciechowski once said to me, "Wrigley Field is like pornography: you know it when you see it." Anyone who has bashed Wrigley has no sense of appreciation for the historical value the place holds.

Which brings me to Ozzie Guillen jumping on the Wrigley-bashing bandwagon.

Of course, it is only natural that we hear the opinion of the mouth from the south. Guillen is an uninformed idiot who doesn't know when to shut his mouth. His Cubs/Wrigley bashing has become old already. We get it: You don't like the Cubs, you don't like Wrigley Field. Here's an idea: If you think it is so terrible to come play at Wrigley, then forfeit the games. Worry about your own team before spouting off about the Cubs or Wrigley Field.

Another thing I've noticed is when the Cubs are playing winning baseball, the media is forced to focus on that instead of trashing Wrigley Field.

Wrigley has its flaws, but I wholeheartedly believe the Ricketts family is doing everything possible to secure funds to fix and preserve Wrigley Field for future generations of Cubs fans. I've often believed that if Fenway, which is older than Wrigley, can still exist, then there is no need get rid of Wrigley.

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joker / September 1, 2011 5:59 PM


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