View Full Version : The Moron column count '02: Flubs 8, Sox 2

04-05-2002, 09:59 AM

Yes, Wrigley Field really truly is "the ultimate meeting place of the people." I actually wrote that.

I give this one a 4 for the Flubbies, and don't even consider his Sox dismissal to merit any points for the Sox column count.

5=Extremely positive
3=equal parts positive and negative
1=extremely negative

That makes the totals (columns/points/average points):

Flubs 8/30/3.75
Sox 2/7/3.5


Harping, tarping on Opening Day

April 5, 2002


Here come the Cubs, as popular as they've ever been in this town, opening their home season amid an unusual synthesis of promise, talent and hubbub. And there go the Tribsters, cold and political, taking this glor-ious local holiday and turning it into something dark.

As in the color of those hideous ''windscreens'' installed atop the sacred Wrigley Field bleachers, a petty and ill-advised way to throw a corporate hissy fit.

In yet another public-relations charade, the boys in Tribune Tower have chosen to interrupt the merry ballpark buzz today by fighting City Hall. Because the bleachers expansion plan has yet to be approved by the Daley administration--which surely has more urgent matters on its plate than helping an affluent baseball franchise get richer--the Tribsters have countered by erecting a big, ugly, green tarp to protest the lack of movement. Officially, they call it a security measure. If you believe that, you also believe Delino DeShields will hit .400 and that Harry and Chip Caray will hold a seventh-inning seance in the broadcast booth.

What the tarp does is box out Wrig-leyville, symbolically and emotionally, from the centerpiece shrine. It's the Trib's way of gaining leverage and sending a message in its battle with neighborhood community groups, which have raised a stink over the proposal to add 2,000 seats and make accompanying structural changes on Addison Street and Sheffield Avenue. Most visibly, the tarp is being used to slightly obstruct views of the Tribsters' biggest foes, the rooftop owners. What kind of white-collar weasels target rooftop owners as enemies? Sure, the rooftop guys have capitalized on the Cubs to make mini-fortunes via pricey game-day rentals and skyrocketing property values, angering the Tribune to no end. But what the Tribsters forget is, they're just as guilty in using the rooftop aura for profit.

How many times has WGN-TV scanned the buildings over the years, panning in on a few beer drinkers or a host cooking burgers? Five or six times a game, maybe? That amounts to thousands of exposure shots, all intended to enhance the perception of a day at the most beautiful park on God's green earth. The rooftop owners want to be partners with the Cubs, a fair request. The Cubs want to be jerks. If the Tribsters insist on impeding views, the least they can do is stop airing rooftop shots during telecasts. But hypocrisy never has stopped these people from pursuing a mission.

The problem with their hardball approach, meaner than what the Cubs typically exhibit on the field, is that it proves everything I've always said about the Tribsters. They care only about the bottom line, ignoring the fans who've been loyal through a near-century of misery and futility. If they cared about Cubdom, they would remain above the political fray and not let a tarp--not to mention dozens of multicolored helium balloons (yuck)--mar Wrigley's natural grace. It's especially important not to screw up this spring, as the Cubs launch their most anticipated season since the early '90s. The last thing management should be doing is interfering with a good baseball team filled with starpower and intriguing story lines.

What the fans should be discussing today is Sammy Sosa, how he's already behind rampaging Barry Bonds in the home-run race after calling Bonds out during spring training. And Kerry Wood, who again is a national happening every time he pitches. And Corey Patterson, who finally might be growing up and answering the hype. And Todd Hundley, whose fog is beginning to lift. And Six-Finger Alfonseca, whose motto is, ''It's not just a job, it's an adventure.'' And, on a discouraging note, Moises Alou, who might owe a refund on his $9 million wage if he continues to be sidelined with chronic brittleness. Holy Moises, have you heard how Alou strained his calf?

''I was just standing around, and it cramped up,'' he explained. ''It wasn't a cramp--I guess it must have been a strain. It's not like I felt when I did it. I was just standing in the outfield.''

Geez, what happens when he starts running? A broken leg, a cracked foot?

Last I looked, Tribune Co. was in the communications business. For some reason, it doesn't do a good job communicating with its Wrigleyville neighbors. A compromise seemed in the works five weeks ago, when Trib point man Mark (Little Mac) McGuire was lauded by Mayor Daley for eliminating 100 seats, reducing the number of support pillars and endorsing a plan to cover the outer walls with more of Wrigley's famous ivy. All the Tribsters had to do was be patient and wait, the way everyone in Chicago has to wait when you want something from the powers-that-be.

Sadly, they lost their cool and put up a wall. ''We're frustrated,'' said Mc-Guire, who has become a more sympathetic figure after his cancer ordeal. ''We're a year and some odd months into this process, and we don't seem to be able to move it along and bring it to a conclusion. Our feeling is, we haven't made very good progress listening to people and being nice guys. I'm not sure we have a lot to lose by stirring it up.''

Oh, yeah? Watch.

You just wonder how many pennants the Cubs would have if management reacted so quickly to baseball problems. What, it's OK to be nice-guy losers on the field but hard-crusted businessmen off the field? The operative word here is arrogance, a regretful stance. Rarely have the Cubs owned a bigger margin over the White Sox in attendance, interest and popularity. They thoroughly own this town. Now they want to jeopardize a wonderful thing by throwing around their Michigan Avenue weight?

The biggest chief in the Tower is John Madigan. He should do his company a favor by personally ordering his minions to remove the tarp today before the gates open. In Chicago, political wars are won via perception. No company that uses blockades and balloons at Wrigley Field, the ultimate meeting place of the people, can win a perception game.

Next, I suppose, the Tribsters will threaten to move to an empty plot in Glenview. A pennant race, meantime, will be a secondary priority. The home-plate umpire can't cry ''Play ball!'' soon enough.

04-05-2002, 10:08 AM

04-05-2002, 10:56 AM
Originally posted by cheeses_h_rice

Yes, Wrigley Field really truly is "the ultimate meeting place of the people." I actually wrote that.

He also calls it "sacred", a "shrine" and "the most beautiful park on God's green Earth". He should start his own fundamentalist Church of Wrigley. He already thinks Sammy is Jesus.

04-08-2002, 12:14 AM
The piece of crap is gonna write about Prior tomorrow, according to the Jackson Sun

Even then, a crowd of 3,695 turned out mostly to eye Prior. Even the Chicago Sun-Times flew down sports columnist Jay Mariotti to opine about his debut, for Prior is the Chicago Cubs' $10.5 million, first-round prize and the second overall selection from the draft last June.

talk about the kiss of death, what a bitch. :angry:

04-08-2002, 01:18 AM
What was the name of the pitcher that the White Sox drafted in the first round last year? For the life of me I don't even remem-

04-08-2002, 01:51 AM
Originally posted by DVG
What was the name of the pitcher that the White Sox drafted in the first round last year? For the life of me I don't even remem-

Wasnt it Kris Honel?

04-08-2002, 01:54 AM
Originally posted by DVG
What was the name of the pitcher that the White Sox drafted in the first round last year? For the life of me I don't even remem-

Kris Honel

04-08-2002, 02:17 AM
Honel or Homel? Geez. I have to look it up. I've been so caught
up in the hype over the next Roger Clemens/Nolan Ryan that I
forgot the poor kid. I've lost my, uh...priorities.