I should be in bed after getting home from tonight’s surprisingly easy Cubs victory over the St. Louis Cardinals, but I’m still on a bit of a high. No matter the record, it’s always fun to go to the ball park and watch my favorite team, and it’s extra fun to watch them play well and win. Yes, the Cubs are still far back in the division and wild-card races, and yes, they’re probably going to sell, but baseball is enjoyable if you just let it come to you and don’t think too much about it sometimes.
If you missed all the shenanigans this morning, afternoon and early evening, we have that covered here. Obviously we couldn’t update stuff while at Wrigley, but let’s give a shoutout to the folks who kept us updated on the Twitters:
— Rice Cube (@CubicSnarkonia) July 12, 2013
Hooray! Now let’s see what we missed while at the game…
Commission approves outfield signs with unanimous vote. Time for interview scrum.
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) July 12, 2013
Sweet, that pretty much says it all. I’d recommend following the above mentioned Twitters for city news, they’re very resourceful and diligent folks. In case you didn’t see the dimensions (Fran Spielman and others said the LED screen area would be 48 feet by 95 feet, which is pretty big):
A clarification from earlier. Cubs now saying the full size of the LF sign is 5,672 SF, not 5,430 as outlined in staff proposal
— Danny Ecker (@DannyEcker) July 11, 2013
Also, Jesse Rogers has a link to the Associated Press story on the Wrigley approvals from today (or yesterday, I guess, since it’s late/early now):
Cubs, city agree on Wrigley Jumbotron http://t.co/ep64lRRgXQ
— Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) July 11, 2013
So now we don’t have to worry about that until the final vote later on this summer when the City Council formally approves everything into law or whatever it is Chicago does. The Cubs are going to get their way, Wrigley will become modernized (with some class, we hope) and it’ll be for the better. Hooray!
As for tonight’s game…
The Taste of Chicago was this week, which meant really stupid traffic from all sides of the city and both Anno and I were “late” getting to Wrigley. “Late” as in we didn’t get there right as the ushers were first opening the gates for the public, as we enjoy watching batting practice before the game. We did find out where the Red Stripe was (there’s a stand further along the main concourse towards the right field side) and also a mixed drinks station, which was run by a rather surly employee. A kind usher also pointed me out to the mythical drinking fountains next to the restrooms. Can you believe that? All these years coming to Wrigley and I never knew where the drinking fountains were. Also, the souvenir soda cups are sturdier than they were in the past, which I guess justifies the Cubs raising the price by a whole dollar.
Our view was nice enough, though the pole in Anno’s season ticket seats would block wild pitches that go straight back to the screen. If you’ve followed the Cubs this season and know both the pitchers’ tendencies and the crappy technique of both Welington Castillo and Dioner Navarro in blocking pitches in the dirt, this obviously poses a bit of a problem. But for the most part our view was uninterrupted. We kept joking during the game that a Jumbotron would have been nice for some of the great plays we saw first hand. For example, Starlin Castro made a great diving stop and throw, and Brian Bogusevic made a fantastic catch at the wall in deep center field that would have been perfect for the mythical Jumbotron. Soon…soon.
The stadium was packed, probably because of it both being a summer night game and a Taste of Chicago weekend-starter. I would estimate that at least a third of the attendees were Cardinals fans, and they were very friendly and respectful overall. The fan next to us left with one out in the top of the ninth as he had seen enough, though it was merely a 3-0 deficit. That would be the final score of the game.
I think the game would have been much more enjoyable with a Jumbotron showing those plays (and others) I highlighted above, and also if some very scantily clad Cubs “fans” hadn’t spent all game in front of us Instagramming duck faces and schmoozing with sketchy dudes old enough to be their fathers. I had some fun CTA adventures heading home as well. But for all nine innings, I remained engaged with a tight contest between two rivals, good baseball throughout especially from Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo, and an eventual Cubs win.
I don’t think you can ask for much more from a night at the old ballpark.