Could Cubs be Forced to Play Home Games Away from Wrigley to Start Season?
Less than an hour ago, I wrote about the verbal skirmishes between Theo Epstein and Scott Boras. A couple days ago, I weighed in on the ongoing plight of the Cubs vs. the rooftops. All the while, I’ve been looking forward to actual baseball and the attendant death of these petty issues.
After all, what better to cleanse us of the accumulated detritus of the offseason than an Opening Night tilt between the Cubs and Cardinals at Wrigley Field? Well, about that…
Rumor I’m hearing is MLB is now involved with Wrigley construction debacle and may have Cubs working with Sox on a wildly belated Plan B.
— Dave Wischnowsky (@wischlist) March 26, 2015
While I don’t see eye-to-eye with him when it comes to the new video board or Illini sports, Dave’s usually pretty spot-on with his commentary. And even in those instances when I don’t agree with him, it’s never because he’s engaged in sensationalism or other shoddy journalism.
The premise behind the rumor is pretty sound on the surface too, particularly when you consider all the construction equipment, barriers, dirt, and debris currently clogging the Confines. Chicago might be the land of greased palms and gentlemen’s agreements, but don’t think a safety inspection will be rubber-stamped in the midst of a mayoral campaign.
The bleacher progress has been substantial, but what about the concourse and the upper decks? You know, areas that will actually be housing spectators in April?
Last few pictures on Waveland #WrigleyField#WrigleyRenovations#cubspic.twitter.com/rhBq034LMY — Wrigley Renovations (@WrigleyRenovate) March 25, 2015
In short order, the rumor about Wrigley’s readiness was gaining steam, so much so that MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat published a brief blog post with quotes from Cubs spokesman Julian Green within about 2 hours of Wischnowsky’s tweet.
“Even a goat would tell you this reaches an absolute new low for Wrigley rumors,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said Wednesday. “All is proceeding well and we look forward to Opening Night at Wrigley Field.”
Sounds like Green has been taking cues from Joe Maddon when it comes to shooting down rumors in the media. But the thing is, there are more cranes at Wrigley than just those lifting beams into place, and Mr. Green’s statement has Kenney written all over it.
Call me crazy, but the pitch of this rebuttal and the speed with which it was released makes me question its veracity. I smell the stink of false bravado emanating from Green’s words with all the grace and subtlety of a high schooler who cleaned up after PE with a whore’s bath and a couple healthy splash of Brut.
This came to mind too:
No, despite Chip Diller’s exhortations, all was not well at Faber College. But while a couple team execs might come off like frat-tastic blue-bloods from Omega Theta Pi, the Cubs have long been viewed like the lovable schlubs of Delta Tau Chi. Well, except for the part about “Grab a brew. Don’t cost nothin’.”
Wrigley Field looks a bit like a demilitarized zone right now, but the Cubs are still adamant that it’ll be ready for baseball by April 5th. And despite all the ongoing work and my distrust of all things biz ops, I’ll take their word for it. To be honest though, I’d feel much better about things had Green punctuated his response by asking if it was over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor.
Cubs say they’ll have the place ready to go by April 5. I hope they do. — Dave Wischnowsky (@wischlist) March 26, 2015
Me too, Dave. Me too.