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Friday, May 16, 2014

Sterling: Chicago Cubs idiocy extends to painting iconic marquee green

I used to think I understood Chicago, I don’t think I do anymore.

Wrigley Field is baseball’s inflatable sex toy.  Squint and it looks good enough, but there is nothing inside to compel interest.

When the Oakland A’s grew mustaches in the early 1970s, it was cool because they were the best team in baseball.  When the Boston Red Sox grew beards last season, it worked because they won.  Seats on the Green Monster changed tradition, but the Red Sox were preparing to win a championship, so fans embraced it.

The Cubs are altering the look of Wrigley Field and players are growing odd shaped hair on their heads and faces, and are thought to be idiots because they are losing in historic numbers.  It appears to those on the outside that more thought is being given to celebrating the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field than building a respectable team, and that players are better at adjusting their coiffure than playing baseball.

Latest in the string of indignities is painting the iconic marquee that overlooks the intersection of Clark and Addison.  The new color is fern green, which is the same as when the sign was installed in 1934.  Obviously, this isn’t the first time it has been painted or structurally changed.

Electronic signage was inserted into the middle over a decade ago, and the sign was briefly painted purple in 2010 for the ill-conceived and poorly executed Northwestern vs. Illinois football game – one of the first boondoggles that signaled the impending idiocy of the Ricketts Regime.

The sign actually wasn’t painted red until the 1960s, and fans would have much less an issue with any of the clever tips of the cap to the history of the ballpark if the onfield product had been assembled with the same creative passion.

Whatever the cause for the pitiful execution of the field, the Cubs are a terrible baseball team very likely to finish with 90+ losses for the fourth straight season, which would guarantee the worst four-year run in the history of the franchise that has long been renown as the lovable losers of American sports.

...So the Cubs slap some green paint on the marquee.  Brian Schlitter grows his hair and beard like George Harrison in the late 1960s.  Samardzija continues to rock the Joey Ramone look.  And the Cubs continue to lose.

Maybe style over substance is good enough for fans of a team where winning is of no immediate importance to ownership.

Repoz Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:12 AM | 31 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs

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   1. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 09:49 AM (#4708021)
What didn't Sterling and Anderson Cooper talk about?
   2. DA Baracus Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:13 AM (#4708041)
   3. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4708056)
Since when is Ken Brockman blogging as "Kent Sterling".

It looks better in green.
   4. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:38 AM (#4708060)
When the Boston Red Sox grew beards last season, it worked because they won. Seats on the Green Monster changed tradition, but the Red Sox were preparing to win a championship, so fans embraced it.


Yes, the Green Monster seats were installed in the 2002-2003 offseason, and the Red Sox experienced nothing but winning the following year.
   5. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4708062)
I didn't care for this piece. It seemed like "the Cubs suck so I'm going to complain about something random without explaining why it's bad."

The Comiskey Park thing is fantastic.
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:43 AM (#4708065)
Wait, inflatable sex toys look good if you squint?
   7. Don Geovany Soto (chris h.) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM (#4708068)
Wait, inflatable sex toys look good if you squint?


Does it really matter?
   8. Yastrzemski in left. Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4708069)
@4 - I think his point was the writing was on the wall. The only thing on Wrigley is Graffiti (and ivy). Theo's had what 2 and a half years in Chicago. Where's the magic?
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4708090)
The most exciting thing about that piece were the ads between the lines:

Click here to follow Kent Sterling on Twitter

Click here to trust your teeth to the best dentist in Indiana – Dr. Mike O’Neil at Today’s Dentistry.
   10. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM (#4708109)
I think his point was the writing was on the wall.


Yes, the dominant feeling among Red Sox fans in 2003 was optimism....

Heck, I was reading Red Sox fan boards in 2004 and the dominant mood until late September was suicidal gloom.
   11. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: May 16, 2014 at 11:59 AM (#4708135)
Heck, I was reading Red Sox fan boards in 2004 and the dominant mood until late September was suicidal gloom.

Not to mention the 13 reported suicides in the wee hours after game 3 of the ALCS.
   12. villageidiom Posted: May 16, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4708173)
Seats on the Green Monster changed tradition, but the Red Sox were preparing to win a championship it was awesome, so fans embraced it.
Fixed.
   13. Traderdave Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:22 PM (#4708259)
Not to mention the 13 reported suicides in the wee hours after game 3 of the ALCS.


--------------------------

Did that really happen???
   14. SandyRiver Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:53 PM (#4708290)
How many after the 2nd inning of game 7?
   15. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 16, 2014 at 02:56 PM (#4708294)
Electronic signage was inserted into the middle over a decade ago, and the sign was briefly painted purple in 2010 for the ill-conceived and poorly executed Northwestern vs. Illinois football game – one of the first boondoggles that signaled the impending idiocy of the Ricketts Regime.


I hardly remember the circumstances surrounding this, but I do remember that only one end zone was usable because the other was too close to the wall or something like that.

I'm trying to figure out how this was Ricketts's fault though. From one article it said both the Cubs and Big 10 worked on the field design, so I guess it is partially Ricketts's fault, but it hardly seems as bad as the writer is making it.

This title for this the post should have been "I hate the Cubs and the Ricketts family and I will scrutinize everything they do"
   16. Comic Strip Person Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:06 PM (#4708312)
It's probably useless to nitpick an article like this, but I keep thinking that Jeff Samardzija should talk to Cliff Lee about how he got through 2012. Seems even worse, since Philly was at least a .500 club.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:13 PM (#4708318)
I hardly remember the circumstances surrounding this, but I do remember that only one end zone was usable because the other was too close to the wall or something like that.


The outfield fence was right up against one of the end zones, and with the curve in the wall, a corner of that end zone was completely cut off. They were worried about players in the back of the end zone crashing into a brick wall, so both offenses played toward the other end zone.

And really, who cares. That game was amazingly cool to watch. I hope they do it again.
   18. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: May 16, 2014 at 03:22 PM (#4708332)
And really, who cares. That game was amazingly cool to watch. I hope they do it again.


Who knows how true this is, but it seems like it could happen again.
   19. silhouetted by the sea Posted: May 16, 2014 at 05:50 PM (#4708457)
The Bears played in Wrigley for a long time. I remember that there was not much room beyond the end zone, but what was different about the set up for Northwestern-Illinois? Was it just that they did not worry about receivers running full speed into the wall back in the day? I must say I would rather run into a brick wall full speed than run into Dick Butkus when we were both at full speed.
   20. madvillain Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:05 PM (#4708466)
It's probably useless to nitpick an article like this, but I keep thinking that Jeff Samardzija should talk to Cliff Lee about how he got through 2012. Seems even worse, since Philly was at least a .500 club.


Matt Garza already very publicly said Jeff "needs to pitch himself off the Cubs".

The Cubs better hope their farm system is excellent. I don't really see them luring too many FAs without serious overpays -- and that got the previous regime fired.
   21. Fernigal McGunnigle has become a merry hat Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:26 PM (#4708476)
It's probably useless to nitpick an article like this, but I keep thinking that Jeff Samardzija should talk to Cliff Lee about how he got through 2012. Seems even worse, since Philly was at least a .500 club.

Samardzija's year so far is amazing. I was aware of the broad contours, but not the details.

Start 1: 7 IP, no runs, no decision in a 1-0 loss.
Start 2: 7 IP, 2 runs, 2-0 loss.
Start 3: 7 IP, 1 run, leaves with a 3-1 lead that the bullpen blows.
Start 4: 7 IP, 3 runs (1 ER), loses a 4-1 game
Start 5: 7.1 IP, 2 runs, leaves with a 5-2 lead, no decision after Arizona scores 5 in the 9th.
Start 6: 5.2 IP, 3 runs, loses 3-2.
Start 7: 9 IP, 1 run, no decision as the team loses 3-1 in the 12th.
Start 8: 6 IP, 0 runs, no decision as the team loses 2-0.

2nd in the league in ERA, ERA+, and pitcher WAR. 5 starts in which he's gone 7+ with 2 or fewer allowed. Only one start that can't be described as "good". He's 0-3.
   22. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4708478)
The Bears had the field oriented north-south, the college game used an east-west layout.

More details in the Wiki.
   23. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:30 PM (#4708479)
He's 0-4 now. Four runs, only two earned, in five innings of a 4-3 loss today.

ERA ballooned to 1.62.

   24. ursus arctos Posted: May 16, 2014 at 06:42 PM (#4708488)
Yeah, a Castro throwing error put him in a two run hole in the first and the Cubbies never quite dug out.

And Garza goes against Jackson tomorrow.
   25. What's the realistic upside, RMc? Posted: May 16, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4708571)
Wrigley Field is baseball’s inflatable sex toy.

Ew. Just...ew.
   26. Perry Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:30 AM (#4708606)
The Bears played in Wrigley for a long time. I remember that there was not much room beyond the end zone, but what was different about the set up for Northwestern-Illinois? Was it just that they did not worry about receivers running full speed into the wall back in the day? I must say I would rather run into a brick wall full speed than run into Dick Butkus when we were both at full speed.


I'm pretty sure I've read that when the Bears played there (up into the 60s, right?) that one of the end zones was only 9 yards because of the wall. Different times, man.
   27. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 17, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4708615)
Was it just that they did not worry about receivers running full speed into the wall back in the day?

From the link in # 22:
The football field ran north-to-south, i.e. from left field to the foul side of first base. The remodeling of the bleachers made for a very tight fit for the gridiron. In fact, the corner of the south end zone was literally in the visiting baseball team's dugout, which was filled with pads for safety, and required a special ground rule that sliced off that corner of the end zone. The end zone was also shorter than the north, as the south end zone was eight yards, compared to the regulation ten yards.[35] One corner of the north end line ran just inches short of the left field wall. There is a legend that Bronko Nagurski, the great Bears fullback, steamrolled through the line, head down, and ran all the way through that end zone, smacking his leather-helmeted head on the bricks. He went back to the bench and told Coach "Papa Bear" George Halas, "That last guy gave me quite a lick!" That kind of incident prompted the Bears to hang some padding in front of the wall.

BITD, a little padding cured the problem.
   28. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: May 17, 2014 at 09:52 AM (#4708653)
The Bears played in Wrigley for a long time. I remember that there was not much room beyond the end zone, but what was different about the set up for Northwestern-Illinois?

Dunno how big a role this plays - but the Cubs added some more seats behind homeplate a few years ago. Only 3-4 rows or so, but that's maybe 15-25 more feet - turning an already really tight area for a football field into a too-tight area.
   29. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4708664)
That is among the worst opening lines to a newspaper column I have ever seen. And the column itself is pretty poor, too...
   30. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: May 17, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4708667)
...said Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer, BTF's inflatable sex toy.
   31. puck Posted: May 17, 2014 at 02:28 PM (#4708791)
Samardzija's year so far is amazing. I was aware of the broad contours, but not the details.


Wow. I noticed Andrew Cashner having a tough luck year but he at least has 2 wins.

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