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WSI News - WSI Spotlight

Sizing up the Cell
by George Bova

Whenever the subject of baseball parks comes up anywhere across America, there are two assertions any Sox Fan knows others will accept as the Gospel truth:

1.) Wrigley Field is a shrine to the national pastime, and
2.) New Comiskey Park is the worst of the new ballparks built since the early-90's.

It's utter nonsense on its face.  Wrigley Field has always been a pathetic excuse for a major league ballpark, a broken down monstrosity most noteworthy for its third world plumbing and sanitation fixtures.  It's known by Sox Fans as the Urinal for the gallons of Pine Sol the Cubune uses to mask the foul odor emanating everywhere inside the lower concourse from the germ-infested spaces now festering for nearly a century.  Yuck!

Need proof that the Urinal is a lousy ballpark?  Just take the word of that hapless dolt wearing the Flubbie cap and Flock of Seagulls-vintage Walkman headphones during Game 6 of the NLCS!  We're speaking of course of everyone's favorite whipping boy, Steve Bartman.  He is the Flub fan who innocently reached for a foul ball landing in his section of seats and is now accused of the worst crime ever committed within Lovable Loser fandom this side of a billy goat:  the crime of proving the Cubs bigger losers than everyone already knew (and loved) them to be.

Thanks to that pathetic excuse for a ballpark the Lovable Losers play in, Steve Bartman had no clue he was helping the Lovable Losers lose.  Moises Alou was standing directly beneath him trying to catch that foul ball but none of the Flubs fans seated around Bartman knew it--not a single one!  They all were trying to catch that foul ball because not one of them could see Alou planted beneath them along that 8-foot tall wall. 

Alou jumped, managed to get nothing more than his arm and glove above the wall, and every single fan in that section of seats was flabbergasted to learn the ball just might have been caught by the leftfielder for their Lovable Losers.  If not for Alou's theatrical hysterics immediately after missing the catch, they might still not have known what happened until watching the video replay post-midnight inside the Cubby Bear, probably between their fourth and fifth Samuel Adams lager or whichever "micro-brew" is presently in fashion with Flubbie fans. 

The Urinal has a design flaw.  It was inevitable that Flubbie fans would get in the way of their own players on a catchable foul ball.  It has been a metaphysical certainty that a Flubs fan just like Steve Bartman would do this because the wall there is simply too tall.  Outfielders ranging over from 50 feet away disappear from view, visible only to the drunken fools seated in the Urinal's bleachers.  They're far too busy watching bikini tops jiggle to bother shouting warnings to the Steve Bartmans of Lovable Loser fandom. 

The Urinal was at fault for what had Alou throwing an hysterical fit.  The Urinal was at fault for what only a dope like Dusty Baker could confuse with fan interference.  Nothing short of putting up a six-foot tall chain link fence above the wall will ever fix this mistake in Beaaaaut-iful Wrigley Field. 

Don't laugh.  The aesthetics of adding a fence along the foul lines is no worse than that silly basket the Flubs already installed in the outfield.  It was necessary to add the "bozo bucket" to help umpires with the impossible task of separating true home run balls from those falling short through fan interference caused by the dolts seated along the wall.  Adding a foul line fence to separate the dolts seated along the Urinal's foul lines would finally finish the job already started for effectively dealing with the idiocy of Lovable Loser fandom. 

Finish the job!  Fence all of them in like the bleating sheep they are!

Which finally brings me to my point about the newest improvements to the ballpark formerly known as New Comiskey Park.  Thanks to the naming rights deal with U.S. Cellular, the Sox are now completing the fourth of five stages of renovations that removes the worst of the upper deck nosebleed seats, adds arched windows and adds a new, larger Old Comiskey-inspired roofline.  The wind tunnel that was the upper deck's open-air concourse is also being enclosed with the tasteful addition of new windows above the concession booths. 

Sight lines in the Cell's lower bowl are already near-perfect.  With no obvious design gaffes like the Urinal's tall foul line wall, the Cell's lower bowl prevents the silliness Flub fandom and both the Chicago and national media simply can't come to grips with:  the Urinal is a crappy ballpark. 

Now with upper deck improvements, the Cell has even more to love and less to hate.  If anything needs fixing, it's how to keep drunken Cubs fans like Eric Dybas from spending the entire afternoon at the Urinal getting juiced, then traveling to our ballpark for a nightcap before running across our infield and tackling an umpire.  Facts are stubborn things...

What's next?  Throwing trash on our field, too?

George Bova is editor and founder of White Sox Interactive.  You can write George at

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