Wrigley bullpens to be moved INDOORS?? Vote NO here.

At the recent hearing at the Commission on Chicago Landmarks, much was said about outfield signage at Wrigley Field. However, the plan to move the on-field bullpens indoors, under the bleachers, raised nary a peep in protest. The Cubs claimed it will be done for the safety of the players. They claim the same thing on their website on an FAQ page.

I don't believe them. The real reason is to install additional expensive seats. Is there any data on injuries caused by the bullpens' locations? It feels like the desire to make space for the seats came first, and "player safety" rationalization came later.

But come on! Indoor bullpens at Wrigley Field? One of the true pleasures of attending a game is to watch the starters warm up, and then when they get roughed up or throw too many pitches, to watch the relievers stretch and then get ready to enter the game. This part of the fan experience at the second oldest ballpark in the majors will be taken away from us.

Pitchers will soon be warming up indoors, out of sight, under artificial light.

I'm asking you to vote on the idea. See the poll below. Vote and let the Cubs know how you feel about this knuckleheaded idea. Not that they will pay any attention at all. But we still have the right to have our voices heard.

Voting closed. Final tally:

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%

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  • I don't see how they get additional seats unless they move the 1B and 3B sides of the lower level of the grandstand over the foul territory where the bullpens now are.

    It seems a mixed bag; one doesn't want to not see the pitchers warming up (although I suppose they could put a camera in there and put it on the jumbotron), but tripping over the mounds in foul territory isn't such a good idea, either.

  • In reply to jack:

    They intend to move the walls out into the bullpen area.

  • In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    Just makes it easier for Rizzo to trip into the dugout or stands, then if they move the walls in.

  • What about Ruggiano destroying himself on the bullpen mound down the rightfield line trying to catch a fly ball during the Wrigley Centennial game on April 23rd and causing a lengthly DL stint? Wouldn't Cubs fans be going nuts if that was Soler or Bryant in a few years and the injury was even more serious (as in season ending or even career altering)?

  • In reply to MKE cubs:

    That's why I said I'd like to see the data. Accidents can happen anywhere on the field, and do. How many DL stints have been caused by players tripping over first base, but no one is talking about flattening the base. And while we're on the subject, the safety issue sets a precedent. If they do this, watch out for the vines. They could easily claim safety as a reason to replace the wall or the ivy with something padded that just happens to have ads on it. Sure the wall and the vines are landmarked, but the Commission on Chicago Landmarks listens to money almost every time. Look what happened to Prentice Women's Hospital.

  • I think you're right on that they're moving the bullpens to allow more of those bullpen box seats. I think it's a mistake. Every time someone talks about the charm of Wrigley Field they inevitably talk about the ivy, the scoreboard, the bleachers, and the neighborhood. Those are the obvious things, but there's much more. The bullpens, the ramps, the flags showing the standings, the organ, the sunshine peeking through the wall on the first base side early in night games, the press box. These are things that most people don't think of when they think of the charm of Wrigley Field, but changing any of them are just as big a deal as adding signage in my opinion.

  • In reply to Brett Baker:

    I should say the third base side, not the first base side!

  • In reply to Brett Baker:

    Totally agree. Little by little they are destroying its appeal, which brings in probably as many as 1,000,000 fans per year.

  • In reply to Floyd Sullivan:

    It makes me slightly nervous about the future of the club, actually. I mean if they feel like they need to squeeze every cent out of the park at the cost of destroying some of its tradition, then can we assume that this is a business enterprise first, and a baseball team second? I guarantee you that George Steinbrenner never thought of the Yankees in that order.

  • In reply to Brett Baker:

    They are a marketing company. They sell advertising. Baseball is the content around which they sell ads. No different from, say, a magazine or a TV show. What they are forgetting is that the content has to be good for consumers to patronize their products and see the ads. Perhaps the team will come around some day (and maybe it won't), but the other important element of their content -- the ballpark -- is being compromised. And you are so right about Steinbrenner.

  • In reply to Brett Baker:

    The only thing George Steinbrenner thought about was that they had to demolish The House that Ruth Built, because the plumbing didn't work, and also because it didn't offer enough places for Leinenkugel stands.

  • Under the Bleachers is FINE

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