Time To Vent

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers at Chicago CubsOkay, I know it’s been months since I’ve posted anything here, but I’ve been ultra busy with my new job. Please forgive me.

So what brought me out of my hole so randomly? The Cubs, of course. But I’m not here today to discuss what the Cubs have done so far or what they might do against Cleveland. No, I’m here to talk about something that has me extremely pissed off.

Fake Cubs fans.

Deep down I knew this would happen whenever the Cubs eventually made it to the World Series, and sure enough, it’s happening. EVERYONE is now claiming to be a Cubs fan. People who didn’t watch one regular season game, out of towners who have called themselves fans of other teams their whole lives (until now), and so on. Just like that, as soon as the Cubs won Game 6 of the NLCS, people from all corners of the country are jumping aboard the Cubs’ bandwagon.

If you want to be a bandwagon fan and cheer for the Cubs all of a sudden, that’s fine. It happens every year with every sport. Fans, albeit not true fans, of other teams will root for a different team if their team is performing poorly. So be it.

But DO NOT act like you have been a Cubs fan all along. Do not try and throw at me stats and other information about the Cubs while trying to look like you know everything about the team, the same team you didn’t give s*** about two weeks ago.

I’ve seen it first hand multiple times now in recent days, where people who have bad-mouthed the Cubs at every opportunity over the years are all of a sudden trying to get tickets to Cubs playoff games, or they’re walking around the office and downtown Chicago with a brand new Cubs shirt and hat on.

I’m sick of it, and I’m sure Cubs fans who are much older than me hate it even more. If you’re going to endlessly talk trash about the Cubs, don’t expect any respect from me or any other true Cubs fan when you all of a sudden show up wearing Cubs apparel as soon as they make it to the World Series for the first time in 71 years. You’re a fraud, and you shouldn’t be allowed within a mile of Wrigley Field during the World Series.

Alright, that’s out of my system now. Carry on with your day.

Oh, and by the way… Cubs in six.

City approves Wrigley renovations

imageToday, the city of Chicago made the final approval regarding the Wrigley Field renovation plans. It sounds as though the renovations could begin as soon as this October. In total, the cost of this renovation project is estimated to be around $500 million.

With this renovation, a large jumbo-tron will be placed behind the left field bleachers, the Cubs’ clubhouse will be redone, an underground hitting cage will be added near the home dugout, another “party” deck (similar to the one in right field) will be added in the left field corner, the concourses will be redone, and a new restaurant and club level could be added to the stadium. Also, a hotel will be built on the west side of Wrigley off of Clark Street. Some other more minor alterations could/will be made as well.

It is huge that the Cubs were able to get this project officially approved by the city. While I am upset to see some of Wrigley’s old-time traditions disappear, I understand that these changes are necessary in order to put a winning team on the field. This is just one of many steps to what will hopefully result in a World Series championship.

When I think about this renovation plan, I can’t help but think of what the Red Sox did with Fenway Park back in the early 2000’s. Fenway underwent a major renovation to bring in more revenue through advertisements, and the ballpark was updated to make it feel a bit more modern and cleaner. As a result, the Red Sox made more money, were able to sign key free agents, and won 2 World Series titles in a span of 4 years after not having won one since 1918. Clearly, this is what the Cubs are hoping for as a result of Wrigley’s renovations.

While I am sure some people are upset with this plan to renovate Wrigley, this is truly in the best interest of the franchise. If they want to become competitive again and have a chance at winning the World Series, this renovation needs to be completed. Today was just the first step in reaching that ultimate goal.

Quit the booing at Wrigley

wrigley-fieldYesterday was the Cubs’ home opener at Wrigley Field, and already the Cubs fans in attendance were voicing their displeasure with certain players on the roster. Clearly, this is not the same group of Cubs fans that used to be in the stands at Wrigley every afternoon.

I understand that booing is part of sports. It is natural for fans to boo the opposing team. That happens at every stadium in every sport. What is not natural is for fans to boo their own team. Sure, there are a number of fan bases that do this on a daily basis (which doesn’t make it right), but Cubs fans have never been a part of that group, until now that is.

Yesterday during the player introductions prior to the first pitch, Carlos Marmol was booed like crazy by the Cubs fans in attendance. He was then booed as he ran in from the bullpen heading into the eighth inning. This wasn’t the only booing that took place yesterday, but I won’t get into all the rest.

Being a Cubs fan like I am, I know that Carlos Marmol has had his struggles in the past, to say the least. This past weekend he blew a save in Atlanta and then surrendered a walk-off home run to Justin Upton in the bottom of the ninth. Prior to that outing, he had a couple of very shaky appearances in Pittsburgh during last week’s opening series with the Pirates.

Having said that, you don’t boo a player during the home opener team introductions or when they take the mound in the eighth inning as a relief pitcher. Does anyone have any idea how much more difficult that makes it for a player to succeed when he’s booed before throwing a pitch in front of his own fans? Cubs fans went to a new low yesterday with their booing, and it needs to stop.

Wrigley has gotten a reputation in past years as being a big “drunk fest,” and that may be accurate. Obviously not everyone in attendance is drunk or consuming alcohol, but a large portion of the fans are, especially in the outfield. These “drunk” fans are mostly young people in their 20’s and 30’s who show up just to party. They are not true fans. It is these people that are ruining Wrigley’s reputation, and it is these people that are leading the booing and making their own team turn against them.

I guess the opposing argument to mine regarding the booing would be this:

The players on the field are getting paid millions of dollars to perform, and so when they don’t perform, they deserve to get booed.

I can’t say that I completely disagree with that. At the same time, however, when a pitcher or any other player is out there giving it 110% and not succeeding, they shouldn’t get booed. If a guy is being lazy or their head isn’t in the game, causing them to make mistakes, then they should get booed. You don’t, however, boo a guy who is giving it everything he’s got, and you don’t boo your own player(s) as they get introduced or take the field.

It is sad that Dale Sveum had to comment on this matter in his postgame interview yesterday after just one home game. To sum it up, he said that it’s tough to perform when you get booed in introductions or when you take the field. I couldn’t agree more.

Any true Cubs fan knows that this team is in a rebuilding process. The Cubs are not going to be good this year, or next year. If people are showing up at Wrigley Field expecting this team to win on a daily basis and boo when they lose, then those fans are simply not intelligent. Don’t go to Cubs games if you’re expecting them to perform like a first place team.

Hopefully this will be the last time I write about this, because it makes me sick to know that so many dumb fans are taking over that park and ruining its reputation.

They don’t do the “Wave” at Wrigley Field

Over the years, Cubs fans have taken pride in the fact that they don’t do the wave during Cubs games. It’s a senseless, distracting, and annoying disturbance to a ballgame when fans do try and start the Wave.

I have been to a countless number of Cubs games at Wrigley Field, and not once have I ever seen anyone try and start the Wave. Cubs fans go to games to watch baseball, not to amuse themselves by creating their own source of entertainment. When at Wrigley Field, people should respect the park and its rich history and tradition of baseball by paying attention to the game. Why do you think Wrigley is the only park without a jumbo-ton? It’s because Wrigley Field is an old-time, traditional baseball stadium where people go to watch baseball.

I have been to 17 different MLB stadiums, and I can tell you that in over half of those stadiums, I have seen fans try and start the Wave. Last summer, I took in a game at Fenway Park. I went into Fenway expecting to see some of the greatest baseball and sports fans in the world who respect the game and its integrity as much as any other group of fans on the planet. Well, guess what? They did the Wave that night, and I have seen them do it again on TV since then. I lost a lot of respect for those fans that night. Just this past weekend I was in St. Louis to check out the new Busch Stadium. Cardinals fans are often referred to as some of the “best baseball fans in America.” Can you guess what I’m about to say next? Yep, they started the wave in just the second inning, and continued to try and start it all the way through the end of the game! In crucial parts of the game, fans were actually trying to start the Wave. I couldn’t believe it.

With the Cubs not being such a great team this year, less fans have been showing up at their home games.  A few nights ago, I was talking to someone who was recently at a Cubs game at Wrigley, and they said that a small group of fans in right field actually tried starting the wave. They were never able to get it going (because the rest of the fans actually had heads on their shoulders), but this still disturbed me, and it prompted me to write this blog post.

To all Cubs fans who may read this at one point or another:

Please, stay respectful to the game, the Cubs, and Wrigley Field by never starting the Wave. It has been an unwritten rule ever since the Wave was invented that it shall never be seen inside the walls of the Friendly Confines. Regardless of how good or bad the Cubs might be, starting the Wave at Wrigley Field is always a bad option.

I would give anything for the Cubs management to put signs up around the park that read, “Wave Not Allowed.” If anyone tries to start it, they should instantly be ejected from the game. It’s a complete and total distraction and annoyance to everyone in the park and on the field when fans begin doing the wave.

So again, be smart Cubs fans. Be proud of the fact that your team plays at Wrigley Field, and NEVER do the Wave.