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Peter Gammons and Ozzie Guillen agree: Wrigley is “a dump”

Jun 13, 2011, 11:19 AM EDT

Chicago White Sox manager Guillen sits in the dugout against the LA Angels during MLB American League baseball game in Anaheim

Peter Gammons made some headlines in Chicago over the weekend by saying during a local radio interview that Wrigley Field is “a dump” that needs renovating like “what the Boston owners did with Fenway Park.”

Ozzie Guillen, who has been a vocal critic of Wrigley Field in the past, was asked what he thought of Gammons’ comments and the White Sox manager jokingly made it clear that he agrees:

He did? Good for you, Peter. Finally, somebody else out-tagged me. Why do you say that, Peter? You have only been to Wrigley Field for a few days. You’re not at Wrigley Field all of the time. That’s why Peter is one of the brightest men in baseball.

Wrigley Field is like a monument, and we have to respect that and we have to love that. A lot of people come to Chicago and want to take the tourist buses. They want to go by Wrigley Field. That’s the reason why. The owners would rather spend $200 million in players than [renovate]. People will show up to Wrigley Field. They like going there and all the things they can do there before and after the games

That qualifies as about as diplomatic as Guillen is ever going to get and he even called it “beautiful Wrigley Field” and “a historic ballpark” when discussing Derek Jeter‘s chances of reaching 3,000 hits while in Chicago.

  1. Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Wrigley is a dump. And it needs to be fixed up all purty like. I’d much rather see a historical landmark be renovated with tax dollars, than see a new park built by tax dollars. I think this is clearly a job for Chicago taxpayers as this is like the only thing people actually go to Chicago for. “Without Wrigley tourists will stop coming to see that S*^t hole of a city.” Really. I think that’s what Gullien is saying there.

    • yankeesfanlen - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      When were you in Chicago?
      But there again do they really expect The American League Baseball Club of New York to play in that (sniff) place this weekend?

    • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:42 AM

      I assume you’re being facetious.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:19 PM

        Ding ding ding! Where would you like the washer and dryer you just won delivered to El Bravo? Ya know I had to take a wack at your city when given the chance, mainly because you’re a terrible person (braves fan).

        No really, I’m very much so against tax payers funding private business. I also have never been to Chicago and I can still smell Wrigley when the wind is just right….. ;P

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:23 PM

        I believe it’s a sad thing that I can read into your comments so easily. The implication is that I spend way too much time here on HBT.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM

        There are worse things to spend your time on. Surely there are…

    • Alex K - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:50 AM

      I love the Cubs. I love Wrigley. I in no way, shape, or form want my tax dollars to go towards fixing it.

      • Alex K - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:51 AM

        The city is waaaaaay to broke to spend money on a private businesses facilities.

    • kander013 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:02 PM

      Really? You have to be joking. Chicago is one of the greatest cities in America, let alone the world. As someone from Minneapolis who wishes he could visit more often, You can’t have a bad time in Chicago. Plus, if you go back to a couple of months ago-Ozzie talks about how much he loves the city and how he owes so much to the people. How you determined that he believes Chicago is a dump, when he was only saying that about Wrigley is beyond me. Honestly get real.

    • Old Gator - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:17 PM

      Wrigleyville proper could use some gussyin’ up too. They could start by painting over the facade of the greasy spoon restaurant directly opposite the southwest gate of the stadium that advertises horrible horsemeat and velveeta sandwiches. Imagine that inguinal welt of Ozzie’s with strings of melted velveeta oozing from it and you have some idea of why it’s so important to beautify the area.

  2. cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Is Wrigley really that bad? I’ve never been. I’m going next season for a couple of games and I hope they don’t renovate it till AFTER I’ve been. I want to see for myself.

    • Old Gator - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM

      I attended the University of Chicago in the late 70s and loved almost every minute of it, except for an occasional frostbite. Great pizza. Great ribs. Beautiful and…ah…accessible warm furry beaver to keep me warm. And those miniature rooms in the basement of the Art Institute were just the perfect place to take your head in the morning to use up the declining half hour or so of last night’s mescaline. Hey, waste not, want not, you know?

    • kopy - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:27 PM

      Short answer: no. It’s not so much “bad” as it is simple. People think of it as a dump because there’s no electronic scoreboard, jumbotron, or sound system pumping walk-up music. It’s not like seats are broken and the toilets don’t flush. I was there last year, and had a great time. It’s just a great place to watch a baseball game. The surrounding neighborhood is also, in my opinion, the best in Chicago for sports bar/drinking outings.

    • kopy - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:30 PM

      P.S. The wind off the lake is real. Bring a hooded sweatshirt/light jacket if you’re in the upper deck along the left field line or you’ll freeze, even on seemingly gorgeous days. If you’re in the outfield, you’ll be baking and probably take your shirt off (or at least that’s what the college kids do).

    • cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:38 PM

      As a hockey fan I deal with ‘simple’ in my sports arena real well. The notion of ‘Chicago cold’ does not bother me; after a winter when a warm day is around 15 below centigrade there is nothing Chicago can do to me that will ever resemble frostbite. I laugh at your weather thusly; ha!

      Gator I am so pleased to hear that my national rat is doing as wonderfully in Chicago as here; Castor canadensis is hardy, furry and cuddly but it’s been a while since I travelled to visit their diaspora. I shall take notes. I plan to give all mescaline a miss but I will give the local food and drink establishments a hammering. The Cubs better be winning by this time next year.

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:47 PM

        You go to see the Cubs play, unlike a certain other team that you go to see win. Wrigley is……quaint. It does not equate in terror to the Old Old Yankee Stadium in the early 70s.
        Please review Ferris Bueller’s Day Off to practice for the experience.

        Jonny, I guess you know by now to Leave Chicago Alone!

      • Old Gator - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:52 PM

        My dear Homo canadensis, you must – I repeat, must – sample the stuffed pizza at Giordano’s. So crammed with goodies is it that it looks like a cheesecake with a pizza on top. Various varieties (which come from the same Old Indo-European root) but my favorite is the healthful stuffed spinach special with a bunch of extras (at a slight charge) like green peppers, onions, mushrooms and broccoli. If you order a small one you may need to ask the beav…er, waitress…to help you finish it. I’ll leave that to your imagination. Giordano’s (which I have always thought of as my culinary G-spot) has expanded and has lots of branches but the original one I always went to up on Lincoln Avenue is still there.

        I would also recommend you go to Carson’s Ribs or Leon’s BBQ. Leon’s has the meatier bones but Carson’s BBQ sauce is so good that you could fill your hot tub with it and drown yourself.

        Hackney’s hamburgers….ah, what’s the use. It’s an unBuddhaly great eating down. >urrp<

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:40 PM

        I will not make that mistake again!!! (I may Lie at times fyi)

      • raysfan1 - Jun 13, 2011 at 7:26 PM

        Absolutely agree with Gator about Giordano’s. BTW, Gator–don’t know how often you get up to Orlando, but there’s a Giordano’s there too.

    • spudchukar - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:50 PM

      As a Cards fan it would be easy for me to take a cheap shot at Piggley Wrigley, but I will refrain, cause it is a grand old place. I will make one criticism though and it has little to do with the park in general. I just wish people who attend the games would sit the F**k down. I understand that sitting for 9 innings observing the current product is difficult, but I paid for the seats, and would appreciate being able to actually watch a play or two on the field.

  3. JB (the original) - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:14 PM

    Also being from Mpls, I love Chicago as well. Great city with a million things to do. Have to admit that Wrigley, while a “fun” place to watch a game and having “historical” attributes, needs work. I’d much rather see it renovated than a new park built; this being from a guy that hunkers down and watches the game itself much more than looking for somewhere that advertises itself as a “family entertainment” destination. Unless it is structurally deficient, I’d think they could do a few things to improve it without needing to pump hundreds of millions into it. How much were the Kauffman renovations?

  4. Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Just to recap. Chicago is fine, I was just messing with ElBravo, because, well he deserves it. I feel much better now that I’ve found out he’s unemployed and cleaning houses under the table for Lenny Dykstra.

    • Alex K - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:03 PM

      You half got me above. I wasn’t sure on your veiws of using public funds for ballpark building/renovation. The rest I could tell was a joke.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:32 PM

        Alex, I’m very, very much against taxes supporting private business, always have been. Glad to see you are too. Business needs to remove some of the burden the middle class has on it’s shoulders now. I’m far too much of a smarta$$ for my own good I guess.

      • Alex K - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:48 PM

        Now if we could only get you to realize that pie sucks. It’s all ice cream all the time, sir.

      • Jonny 5 - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:39 PM

        Dude, Ice cream has been seen all over pie, many times. As a matter of fact cake too. Ice cream is just too easy.

      • jwbiii - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:27 PM

        Ice cream on cold stuffed pizza makes an excellent breakfast.

      • Alex K - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM

        Ice cream blows both out of the water. Cake is a ditant second. Pie is about 150th.

      • cur68 - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:08 PM

        Love me some ice cream; Cherry Garcia, mmm nice….on cake or pizza, I would marry you Cherry Garcia…or Chunkey Monkey. I’d marry them both. Polygamist ice cream love, here I come…

        Pie wishes it were half as good with ice cream as cake is. Ultimately though, ice cream doesn’t need either of them but is so easy it’ll do either for kicks. I love that about ice cream…

  5. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:31 PM

    To be clear to the non-Wrigley/non-Chicagoan attendees and to those taking anything J5 says seriously: Wrigley is a dump mainly to the players, staff and journalists. Those are the areas of the facility which are hurting most for renovations and improved amenities. As a fan or patron of the park, you will not see these issues and the only thing negative to fan experience are the less-than-awesome-but-really-who-cares? troughs the men must pee in. The structure itself likely needs some aesthetic work and perhaps some reinforcement (see falling debris from mid-2000’s). The rest of the park is in good shape, granted there are some sight-line issues due to the many support beams holding the upper deck. Can’t change that w/o demolishing and rebuilding (no way that’s happening) Otherwise, the bleachers are all redone and are the best place on earth to watch baseball. The only problem is the Cubs stopped playing baseball there a couple of seasons ago and starting playing tiddlywinks, instead.

    • kopy - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:49 PM

      As a (yet another) Minneapolitan, I am used to pissing in troughs. The fun part about Wrigley is that they have troughs back-to-back in the bathrooms with about a 4 ft. high hall separating them so that you actually stare into the face of another man while you both urinate, and you would be urinating on each other if it wasn’t for the objects in the way. Obviously, man code prevails and everyone keeps their eyes on the road, but it’s still awkward.

      • Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - Jun 13, 2011 at 12:59 PM

        It’s a lot easier when you down a couple “beers” (i.e. trough piss) before entering the bathrooms at all. I usually sit in the bleachers, arrive 90 mins early, and hold off on pissing until the third (about 3-4 beers deep). By then, I could take a leak in CF with 40,000 cheering me on w/o being distracted or get a hint of stage fright. By then you high five the guy your peeing toward b/c you simply have a hand free.

  6. gentbaseball12 - Jun 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Wrigley is a dump because it holds the team back from generating more revenue. No scoreboard, no ads, etc means less revenue coming in, which means the team isn’t able to exploit it’s geographic advantage in a league with no salary cap and where team revenue is dependent on almost entirely local revenue. Thee is no reason that the most popular team in one of the top 5 major media markets gets hampered by bad contracts (soriano fukudome, etc). The cubs should be like the red sox, who can swing and miss on guys like dice k and not miss a beat. Instead the franchise is run by idiots with idiot fans who think maintaining wrigley is more important than winning. I am huge cubs fans and would love nothing more than to blow wrigley field up if it meant the cubs would win a title. Instead the cubs will miss out on significant revenue generating opportunities for the sake of keeping up the historical dump that is wrigley and the team will still suck. Awesome.

  7. davidly - Jun 13, 2011 at 2:42 PM

    It’s not a dump. It’s a neighborhood ballpark (the only left that can be realistically called a park) that draws fans from around the city and elsewhere. The compromise is almost no chance at being a big winner, but that’s the compromise. I think a good one. The addition of lights for night games was bad enough.

    • salvomania - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:16 PM

      Compromise? Almost no chance of being a big winner? This isn’t a Kansas City Royals thread!

      The Cubs have a 18% higher 2011 payroll than any other NL Central team ($125.0M vs. Cardinals’ $105.4M), and they’ve been to the postseason three times in the last 8 seasons.

      • davidly - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:24 PM

        Well. In that case: Go Cubbies!!
        (But I wouldn’t expect a Yankee-like Series streak any time soon.)
        Love that Wrigley.

  8. jwbiii - Jun 13, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    Gammons doesn’t like Wrigley because the places where he works are not to his liking. The clubhouses, especially the visitors’ clubhouse, are small. The pressbox is spacious but open. No A/C, no heat, and open to the wind.

    If I were an opposing manager, I wouldn’t like the visitors’ clubhouse, either.

    • jwbiii - Jun 13, 2011 at 5:29 PM

      Oh, there’s no elevator to the pressbox. I have no idea what the lingering effects of Gammons’ stroke are, but that could also be an issue with him.

  9. nfugitt - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    Wrigley may be a dump, but Gammons needs to get his face out of Boston’s rectum because Fenway makes games unwatchable. A horrid, wretched stadium.

  10. royalsfaninfargo - Jun 13, 2011 at 4:29 PM

    Does Peter Gammons like anywhere in this country (or in the world, for that matter) outside of Boston?

  11. houkss - Jun 13, 2011 at 6:24 PM

    They have to upgrade the stadium to compete. Plain and simple. There are no corporate boxes. The ones they have still have televisions in them that are black and white rca’s that used to be in your parents living rooms. It’s charming, the way the little league park is in cooperstown. But it’s the reason the Cubs will continue to suck until eternity……

  12. schmedley69 - Jun 13, 2011 at 11:17 PM

    I made my first trip to Wrigley in 2009 and I thought that it was a pretty awesome experience. They could renovate it as long as they don’t make any drastic changes. Just a great baseball atmosphere. I saw a few players pull up in cabs and walk into the stadium as kids mobbed them for autographs. Where else could you see that? Plenty of places close by to eat and drink before/after the game. I went to Fenway in ’99, so I haven’t been there since they renovated. They are both great, but if I had to choose, I’d take Wrigley. Their fans are a lot less obnoxious.

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