Cub fans don't like moving the bullpens indoors

By a significant margin, Cub fans don't like the idea of moving the bullpens from out on the field to indoors under the bleachers.

Waiting4Cubs conducted a week-long poll, asking readers to vote. Here are the results:

No! That's crazy and not Wrigley Field.  46%

Yes! I believe them about player safety.  13%

I don't care. Just win a World Series.  39%

The poll was conducted through twiigs.com which made it very difficult to stuff the ballot box, so I believe these numbers to be a very accurate summary of how Cub fans feel about this.

Today, when you get to the ballpark you see this along the left field foul line ...

Travis Wood warms up before the May 18, 2014 game against the Brewers. Enjoy the view now. They're going to take it away soon.

Travis Wood warms up before the May 18, 2014 game against the Brewers. Enjoy the view now. They're going to take it away soon.

This has been part of the Wrigley Field experience for 100 years.

We get to the ballpark early so we can watch the Cubs starter get ready. Even if you haven't paid the ridiculous price of up to $275 for a "Bullpen Box Front Row" seat, you can stroll down to aisle 4 or 6 and watch the pitcher warm up until the usher tells you, politely, that you have to leave the section. Then you trudge up to the 500s to watch the game. But even from up there, if the starter begins to get roughed up, you can stand and look down at the pen to see who, if anyone, is warming up.

More Wrigley Field traditions destroyed in the name of installing more expensive seats. One thing, though. They won't be able to call them "Bullpen Seats" anymore. Nor will they be able to charge $275 for one because there will be no pitchers to watch anymore.

They will all be indoors.

As you can see, the next most popular answer in the poll was "Don't care. Just win a World Series." Everyone wants the Cubs to win a World Series, but 46% of us don't think you have to destroy Wrigley Field traditions to do it.

Only the team's losing tradition.
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  • Out of all of the issues, players and possibilities, who really gives a rip what the Cubs do with the bullpens? Does ANYONE buy a ticket to see the pitchers warm up?

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    And 39% of respondents would agree with you. 46% view the move as a bad idea and not consistent with the spirit of the ballpark. To answer your question, millions over the years have bought tickets just to see a game at Wrigley Field, and perhaps they've never even heard of the starting pitcher (often I haven't either, if you know what I mean!). For those fans, every aspect of the park is part of the experience -- the bullpens, the scoreboard, the ivy etc. etc. To take away any single element is to diminish that experience for a lot of fans, including me. I buy a ticket, to answer your question, to see the game, but to also get there early for BP and to watch the pitchers warm up. It's all part of going to the ballpark for me, and many, many others.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    I will definitely miss watching the pitchers warm-up. It's not why I buy a ticket - but it is certainly part of the fun of being at the ballpark!

  • The number of people who responded to your poll likely could all use one of the Wrigley Field "trough" urinals simultaneously - not exactly a sample size remotely large enough large enough to cite what "Cub fans" want... (BTW, it's CUBS fans, unless you're only a fan of one of them...)
    As for the Wrigley "experience," it includes not appearing in the World Series during the lifetimes of most, if not all, of the poll respondents. What about the Wrigley "tradition" of not having lights? What about the "traditional" places to park the old horse and buggy? How about the non-traditional "basket" on the outfield fence? What about the "tradition" of not having black players on the team? More recent changes to "tradition" include advertisements on the outfield access doors and the right-field scoreboard, all of which are now part of the "Wrigley experience." Change happens. True Cubs fans are much more interested in the team and the game than in complaining about lost "traditions" at Wrigley field.

  • In reply to Cliff1969:

    Thanks for your comments! But I guess we disagree on this point.

  • In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    Your survey was terribly flawed. You worded it to get people to agree with your opinion. I could write a survey to get the exact opposite results. Your results are worthless.

  • In reply to John57:

    Sure did word it to reflect my own opinion. If you'd like to do a survey worded differently go to twiigs.com and follow the instructions. It's pretty easy (obviously, if I could do it!) and they will post the survey right there. Or you can embed it in a blog if you have one. If not, let me know and I'll be happy to post it here as a guest blog. Thanks!

  • In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    If I did a survey worded with the opposite slant and got opposite results, what would that prove? My results would be as worthless as yours. I am willing to let the Cubs run the team as they see fit for the good of the team. They shouldn't be doing things based on what I think or you think.

  • In reply to John57:

    But it would be fun to see the results, I think. This is just a Cubs blog, after all. Maybe as worthless as my survey, but an interesting exercise. I agree that the Cubs are running the team for the good of the team -- the teams of the future, anyway -- with the hiring of Hoyer and Epstein, new DR and ST facilities, many of the improvements to Wrigley Field. However, I think the Cubs as a corporation are making many of their decisions strictly for the good of the company and the bottom line, not necessarily the team or the fans. Moving the bullpens is one of those decisions, in my opinion.

  • I think you could get a 46% positive response to any question about opposing Wrigley Field "traditions," including, but not limited to, installing lights. (Seriously. I saw a guy at last night's game with a "No Lights in Wrigley" t-shirt. Talk about a guy with schizophrenia.) I'm just glad the people in charge are doing what they need to do. In a couple of years there will be a new Wrigley Field tradition: championship-caliber Cubs baseball--electronic scoreboards, signs, indoor bullpens, better concessions, etc., and all.

  • In reply to TheThinBlueLine:

    About championship-caliber Cubs baseball, I hope you're right. I thought the same in 1969, 1984, 2003, 2008. I didn't think they had much of a chance in the other playoff years. All the prospects in the minors right now certainly make a fan feel more positive about the future. But championships? Sorry, but I'll believe it when I see it, and I am desperate to see it. There were a couple of other eras when the Cubs were consistently good. 1906-1910 when they went to 4 of 5 World Series and won 2. Then from 1929 through 1938 when they went to the World Series every 3 years, winning none of them. It would be great if the 1906-1910 era could be approached.
    I once did a Cubs/1908 presentation for some senior citizens, average age 80 or so. One of the attendees asked if I thought the Cubs would win a World Series in their lifetimes. I replied that I have 4 grandchildren, all Cub fans, and I'm worried for them.

  • Wait a minute. So 52% are not against moving the bullpens because they either are not against it or don't care, yet you say that by a significant margin, Cub fans don't like the idea of moving the bullpens from out on the field to indoors under the bleachers? Since when is 46% a significant margin? It sounds like the majority are not against it.

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    46% against vs. 13% for moving the bullpens. The rest don't care, neither for nor against.

  • I still fail to see how if 46%, not even half are against something how that can be a significant margin ? Now if you had 60 or 70 % against that would be a significant margin. The fact that 39% dont care shows how this is not worth even mentioning.

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    Let's say my biased survey is as much as 20% off. As a marketing company, I would be concerned if 26% of my consumer base did not like something my company was planning to do, especially if it involved a very popular element of my total product, as Wrigley Field is. It would mean some small % of my consumers are alienated. If the company does a number of things like this, for instance, installing a jumbotron and other signs that many don't like, hire a mascot that many think is very un-Cub-like, putting up sloppy murals, dumping a Wrigley Field cake, putting up ugly banners on the front of the ballpark, etc. then bit by bit your consumer base erodes. Maybe some fans stop coming altogether, maybe some when faced with a choice between going to the ballpark or going to the beach, decide to go to the beach because they have been alienated, maybe some who used to attend 20 games only attend 15, maybe someone who has had season tickets stops buying them, or decides to buy cheaper tickets. All of these things erode the consumer base, and I have witnessed all of these things first hand (anecdotal evidence, but still there). The Cubs don't seem to care, though, and are more concerned with landing new advertisers and selling signs that will have more TV exposure, which was articulated by Crane Kenney at the Landmarks hearing.

  • In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    I appreciate your comments and agree with you that if a quarter or even more of your customers are alienated by some things that you do it will hurt business and that is not a good thing. But I feel that the Cubs are very different from other businesses. If you bring a winner to Wrigley and we all have to sit in folding chairs they will show up in droves. It's not about where the pen is or the scoreboard, or the jumbotron or the mascot or a dam cake or anything else. If the Cubs field a winner nobody and I mean nobody will be at the beach. They will be at Clark and Addison.

    I think that you and I are close to the same age. I have been a Cub fan since the 60's. I went to my first cub game at the age of nine and have been to hundreds of games at Wrigley and a number of Cub games in other cities around the country. I have suffered through a number of bad teams and a few good ones. 67-69 Cubs, 84 Cubs and the 2003 Cubs. I have seen it all. I fully enjoyed going to Wrigley with my Dad as a kid, I loved going to Wrigley as a teenager with my brother and spending the summers in the bleachers. I loved bringing my kids to Wrigley as I got older. I am now headed for my twlight years and just want to see one Championship. If a jumbotron , a new clubhouse, moving the pens under the bleachers will perserve Wrigley and create more revenue for the team to put better players on the field and get a championship I am all for it.

    Tom Ricketts and Theo are much smarter than I ever hoped to be and whatever they want to do to bring a winner, I am all for it. I am running out of time.

  • In reply to cubbybear7753:

    We are about the same age, but I might be a bit older. I agree that time seems to be running out for Cub fans of our generation. And it's a worse situation for those in their 70s and 80s. However, I don't believe the changes to the ballpark have much, if anything, to do with bringing a winner to Wrigley Field. That sounds very much to me like rationalizing decisions made strictly for an enhanced bottom line.

    And yes, if the Cubs get good again it will be SRO at the ballpark no matter what it looks like. But if they get bad again and the historic ballpark is not so historic anymore, or (horror of horrors!) gone, look for Cub attendance to approach White Sox numbers, or worse. Maybe 1/3 of Cub attendance is drawn by the ballpark, not the team. This is based on the Cubs own number of up to 40% of visitors coming from out of state. Anyway, I, obviously, love the ballpark and the team both. I hate to see it despoiled with ads. To me it's like putting billboards on Lake Shore Drive. I shudder.

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    I am opposed to moving the bullpens.

  • Thanks for reading and commenting!

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