Sunday, April 25, 2010

Taking a Look Around Wrigley

In the 30+ years that I've been a fan of the Cubs, until today I had never taken the guided tour of Wrigley Field.  Kris purchased the tickets as a Valentine's present, which beats the hell out of candy hearts and crap like that.

The tour was interesting and the guide provided a quite a bit of information, some of which I already knew, but some that I hadn't known before.  For instance, when Northwestern and Illinois play football at Wrigley, the football field will be laid out down the first base line instead of down the third base line as they used to have it when the Bears played there.

We saw the bleachers, the visitors' clubhouse, the pressbox, the skybox suites, the Cubs' clubhouse, and the Cubs' dugout.  Some things of note that were not included in the tour were the PNC Suite, the Batter's Eye suite in centerfield, the batting cages beneath the bleachers, and the scoreboard (though this is not surprising at all since there are probably some serious liability and hygiene issues with going into that scoreboard).

They also had the new players lounge closed off, but we could press our noses up against the door window.  It looked nice from what I could see.

Our tour guide pointed out the visitors' locker that is usually given to coaches, but has been used for players with a paricularly large contingent of press following them around, like Manny Ramirez when he joined the Dodgers and Barry Bonds when he was chasing the homerun record.  I took a look for a secret compartment where they would stash the steroids, but if there is one there, it is clevery hidden.

Up in the pressbox, I took a seat in the front row and found myself having increasingly malevolent thoughts about an outfielder that plays for the Seattle Mariners.  I also had an increasing desire to nitpick Carlos Zambrano to death.  I couldn't figure out why, but then I looked down and saw this:

So that explained it.

Later, while down in the Cubs clubhouse, they had all the jerseys hung up in the lockers to be all ready for the Cubs' return home tomorrow after the pillaging of the Brewers.

Notice anything strange?  Esmailin Caridad has a jersey hanging and Justin Berg does not.  I didn't notice this until I was looking at Kris' photos, so I can't say for sure that Berg's jersey isn't in there somewhere, but it isn't in any of the photos she took, and this area is the area where the guys with the least "clout" on the team reside.

Caridad went on the disabled list on April 14, retroactive to April 12, which means he is eligible to come off on Tuesday, April 27th.  So it seems that even if a move is coming, Berg should at least be a part of the team through tomorrow, and his jersey should probably be somewhere.  Nevertheless, I found Caridad's jersey's presence interesting and am anxious to see if it means anything or not.

The rain prevented us from too much on-field experience, but we did have the opportunity to get our pictures taken in the batting circle.

Overall, I'd endorse the tour as a valuable way to spend a few bucks and an hour out of your life.  Personally, I wish we could have gone into one of the new luxury areas to see how the other half watch baseball games, but I'm sure they aren't a hell of a lot different than the rooftop suite areas across the street, so it wasn't a huge deal that we weren't allowed in there.

I also wish we could have at least walked the warning track or gotten out on the field in some way, but if they allowed that, everyone would be walking off with handfuls of ivy leaves or clumps of sod and it would start to look shabby.  So I get it, but I wish we could have done that.  I guess sitting in Paul Sullivan's chair and getting to view the world from a scorecard vendor's kiosk will have to do.


Fritz said...

When I went to the "on-field" event as part of my Cubs Club membership, they were very insistent that no-one touch the ivy-- repeated it many times before and after they let everyone onto the field.

Of course, people immediately began taking pix of themselves reaching into the ivy after non-existent flyballs, so the ground crew put up yellow police tape from left to right field.

Aisle 424 said...

Maybe the Cubs should install an electric fence near the ivy and make everyone taking the tour wear one of those dog collars that give the shocks. You wouldn't think such measures should be necessary, but we are talking about a fan base that loves Ryan Theriot and hates Alfonso Soriano.

thejoshbaker said...

I have that same paul sullivan picture, except mine doesn't have the numbers marked out.

Aisle 424 said...

The numbers are probably all in the public domain, but I thought blacking them out was appropriate. No need to encourage nonsense calls from crazy people who discover the picture and decide to call just because they saw it on the interwebs.

Anonymous said...

the cubs charge $10 for a yearbook. lmao

Aisle 424 said...

Seriously. Vineline is $4. I'll summarize and save you all the cash: All the Cubs prospects are awesome. Buy tickets. Here are some facts about a mediocre player that you may not know and a picture of him as a child. Wrigley is beautiful. Buy tickets. Buy memorabilia. Here is a small glossied version of one aspect of Cubs history that conveniently leaves out the losing. Buy tickets. Get on the season-ticket wait list. Buy rooftop seats. Look, pictures of ivy. It's pretty. Buy tickets. Buy luxury suites. Buy Cubs clothing. Isn't Santo an endearing fellow? Buy tickets...

Anonymous said...

that's pretty much it. i actually grabbed a free copy of vineline several years back in mesa. i flipped through it before a spring training game and realized it was still just as bad as it was back in 1992.

the fact that somebody actually pays $4 to read that garbage is obscene.

lao said...

The few times I've been on the outfield they have had guards standing around the ivy-covered walls watching people but if you time it correctly and take a picture of yourself jumping up against the ivy "catching" a fly ball you can steal a stash of leaves. unfortunately it was not enough to start a new plant.

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