One more thing about Tuesday's Wall Street Journal article listing the reasons why Wrigley Field needs to be torn down.
The author of this article, Rich Cohen, is an excellent writer who grew up on Chicago's North Shore. But on this subject he's got it all wrong.
He writes that the Cubs championship drought since ‘08 can be cured by getting rid of Wrigley and the ground it stands on. Cohen cites the team's huge winning record before they moved to Clark and Addison in 1916. Since then losses vastly outnumber wins. He says a team can't win in Wrigley. I say if that's true, how do you explain the impressive success of every visiting team?
Cohen writes,"Wrigley Field is too damn nice" and it takes pressure off the owners to win. That is just no longer true. The heat has been turned up on Cubs management ever since we were tortured when the Cubs got five outs from the World Series in 2003. Since then, fans expectations have been high, and tolerance for the lovable losers is low. Now even Kerry Wood gets booed, something that once would have been unthinkable.
Finally, the idea that the Cubs leaving Wrigley is the only way to forget the losing tradition is flawed. It would actually make it even harder to break the curse. Without the attraction of the charming and historic old ballpark, would three million fans a year pay to see a losing team? Less attendance means less revenue, and less money to buy free agents, and even less winning.
The Ricketts have the right idea. Just renovate it. The love affair with Wrigley Field has gone on so long it's now fashionable to be contrarian and say "just tear it down." Like booing the home team at Wrigley, it's a sign of what has gradually happened to Cubs fans since Banks, Santo, and Williams took off the uniform. Losing is no longer lovable. But my message to fellow Cubs fans is: be careful what you wish for.
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