The Cubs played their final home game of the season this week, beating the Cardinals (yay!) to finish the season with a winning record at the friendly confines. This was all well and good, but there was some melancholy among many Cubs fans, for coming next season Wrigley Field will look a little different. The full scale expansion and renovation of the old ballpark has begun in earnest and next year will feature a new jumbotron (Is that, like, a generic noun now?) in left field, new video scoreboard in right, improved lighting and new signage all about. You can see many images of what it will look like in this post, as Wrigley is dragged into the 21st century, changing from museum to modern ballpark (with some definite museum-like qualities).
This is well and this is good, as this project will stretch over the next several offseasons, eventually netting the Cubs a new clubhouse and workout facilities, extra revenue from advertising to funnel into player personnel, and, eventually, one hell of a place to celebrate a World Series. Still, a lot of fans, mostly those who have or had frequently attended games, were a little misty eyed at the thought of these changes. I understand this, a little, I suppose, though I admit that I had none of these feelings. As an out of town fan who has never (yet) attended a Cubs home game, I don’t really have anything to miss. And, no, this doesn’t make me want to go Wrigley any less. It’s still on the bucket list. But nostalgia is the curse of the human condition, so, like I said, I can understand.
Depending on how the Cubs cut deals for TV rights over the next few years, my real gut punch will be when they no longer show games on WGN. That was the Wrigley of my youth, the magical channel that transported me to a baseball shrine seemingly every afternoon. Eventually the Cubs will have their own network, or reach a deal with CSN Chicago, or make other arrangements, and WGN will become just another channel showing syndicated sitcoms. And this will net the Cubs even more revenue to pump back into the team, meaning it’s a change I will support. It will be well. It will be good. But, I’ll get that pang of nostalgia every time I see the WGN logo or hear the call tag. For me, it will be less like Wrigley getting renovated and more like Wrigley getting replaced.
What the heck does WGN stand for anyway?
- Apparently it named in a brilliant fit of hubris by the Chicago Tribune newspaper.
- Mauricio Rubio, Jr. has a nice read from the perspective of those who got the feels after this last home game. World Series Dreaming also has a good take on the topic.
- Also at Cubs Den, John Arguello asks, how will you remember this season? I think we’ll remember it as the start of something special. Actually, more like the end of something awful, like waking up from a nightmare you were sure was real.
- One guy who deserves some praise as the baseball season winds down is Chris Coghlan, who has been a really nice addition to the Cubs and done an admirable job filling in as the leadoff hitter. Cubbies Crib thinks he should take his shoes off, make himself comfortable, stick around for a while.
- Will somebody harvest the horseshoe from Derek Effing Jeter?
- Sometimes I like reading book reviews more than I think I’d actually like the book.
- Seriously, screw everything about this (this is kind of awesome).
- You should stop decking around and watch this (audio is NSFW).
- I’m sure everyone can find all of the news they want about the current NFL debacle surrounding domestic violence, so I won’t dwell on it, but I did want to link to a few things. First, this piece on U.S. Soccer star Hope Solo, who is under investigation for a domestic violence charge. I link to this mainly for the people who complain that nobody is covering it. It’s right there in the New York Times.
- Then this bit by Sarah Spain, explaining just why nobody is getting their knickers in a twist about Hope Solo, whose case is completely different from the ones discussed in connection with the NFL. Also, twitlonger, y’all, is awesome.
- Then there’s this article which, while focused more on “the Fappening” than the NFL, explains why the “it’s human nature” or “it’s just boys being boys” defenses don’t work.
- More scientists try to explain how the Egyptians build the pyramids.
- I love this – H.P. Lovecraft made a little bit silly.
- Zen Pencils with some wonderful advice this week.
- Saturday Night Live kicks off it’s 40th season tomorrow night. Yes, than means I’m a few months older than Saturday Night Live, now get off my lawn!
- Fortunately for my self-esteem, Bill and Ted are older.
- So is my dad, but you’d never know it.
- You know who else could sing? Freakin’ Marvin Gaye, man.
- If you’re getting older, Louis C.K. has a guide to help you out.
- The Saints play the Cowboys on Sunday night. Canal Street Chronicles and readers make predictions here.
- A win, especially an impressive one, should quiet most of the early season chirping about the team’s slow start. The occasionally grumpy Larry Holder has a nice piece on why this team should have the benefit of your doubt.
- One topic I’ve seen a lot of grousing about is the lack of playing time for two young players, John Jenkins and (especially) rookie cornerback Stanley Jean-Batiste. Jean-Batiste hasn’t been active for any games yet and some are already calling him a bust and can’t seem to understand why the team “wasted” a high pick on him. To me, this is all part of a plan and, if you’re already a pretty good team, you can take a guy you don’t plan on playing early if you think, in a year or two, he’s going to be the best player at that position. And the Saints are a pretty good team, with a pretty good coach and a pretty good GM. I’ll trust those guys.
- Just a reminder that the coolest person in space is Canadian (damn it).
- When your new job involves PR, getting a little publicity from leaving your old one shows real dedication.
- I don’t know whether to be amazed, inspired or kind of annoyed at this business model.
- Sometimes you see a story and think, man, having autism must be awesome. At least if you’re a cat and it’s your owner who has it.
- This Wizards training camp starts in less than a week. John Wall has big expectations for this year.
- Wizard of Awes looks at the undrafted training camp invitees and one, in particular, they think could make the team.
- Which all reminds me – where the heck has Truth About It been??
- I posted this on Facebook earlier today, but I’m reusing it here. Your Song of the Week, courtesy of one of my guiltiest pleasures…