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Lance Berkman thinks Wrigley Field is “the worst”

Apr 16, 2013, 1:48 PM EDT

New York Yankees v Chicago Cubs Getty Images

Lance Berkman and the Rangers begin a three-game series with the Cubs tonight in Chicago and when asked about playing at Wrigley Field he didn’t pull any punches with Jeff Wilson of the Forth Worth Star Telegram:

If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it. Chicago’s one of the worst places in baseball … really for anything.

Playing the series under NL rules means Berkman will mostly be on the bench and away from what I’m sure will now be booing. He does have a ton of experience at Wrigley Field, playing 83 career games there while hitting just .215. In fact, among the 16 ballparks in which Berkman has played 25 or more games his worst OPS is at Wrigley.

  1. darthicarus - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    This can now get blown out of proportion (pun not intended) because he said blow up, and everyone is hyper-sensitive from Boston yesterday…now Lance will have to extend an apology and not mean to offend anyone when he obviously meant nothing of it.

    Yeah for sensitized ‘Murica!

    • singingfriar - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

      I’m glad HBT had the good sense to at least change the original headline.

  2. Ben - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    I finally went to Wrigley for the first time this weekend. Wanted to go before any renovations. It was the most fun I’ve had at a ballgame in a while, despite the cold and the incredibly cramped seats.
    No screens and screaming neon to distract me. Fewer ads. No obnoxious promos because there’s no screen to display them. Just baseball. It was fantastic. Makes me want to go to more minor league games.

    • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:11 PM

      In my experience, minor league games are at least as bad, and usually worst, than MLB teams when it comes to distraction….ads on everything, weird on-field promos nearly every 1/2 inning, lots of loud music….anything to try to make the experience seem like it is more than just baseball. It’s sad, really.

      • Ben - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM

        Yeah, you’re probably right. Make it more of a circus than anything else. A guy can romanticize, can’t he?

        But seriously, the seats at Wrigley. They suck. Went with two friends, and I doubt any of us have a BMI over 22 or so, and we were seriously uncomfortable.

      • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM

        I love going to MiLB games, cheap, always good seats available, seats really closes to the action, can usually watch the game while waiting in line to buy beer, short game times (you really realize large an effect TV has on game length)….but a lack of distraction isn’t one of the reasons….they try to make it fun to go to the park even for people that don’t like baseball.

  3. skeleteeth - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:56 PM

    I guess this means he will be starting in RF for the Cubs next year?

  4. schlemealsschlimazel - Apr 16, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    One thing Lance Berkman would never want to blow up?

    An ice cream factory.

  5. dowhatifeellike - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

    He’s only repeating what other players have said before. The facilities for the visiting team are worse than most college facilities.

  6. stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    It’s also Lance being incredibly honest (like always).
    I am just surprised he didn’t start his sentence with…
    “I have always hit like Fido’s ass in that ballpark so….”

    • jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:42 PM

      Just glad he hit the crap out of St. Loui pitching… Ps… What does big Mac, Larusa, Ankiel, Albert, all have in common … They lied to baseball and the public.

      Larusa used the Mitchell report as his recruiting chart.

      Stop posting on Berkman you troll.

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:55 PM

        Hahaha! Look people…
        I hurt Jeff’s feelings to the point of him now being pissed at me for every post.
        Even those that defend the all-time great Houstan Astro.
        Come on Jeff…turn that frown upside down. It isn’t healthy man. Let. It. Go.

      • jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:08 PM

        All good… St. Loui 1…. I know Berkman is clean and so does the baseball world.

        Same cant be said the for the all time great Cards….. Mac, and Dark hole.
        (we know, Larusa was shocked to find out about Roids… Oak & St, Loui, not in my clubhouse… blah, blah, blah)

        No doubts here… how about you?

      • bougin89 - Apr 16, 2013 at 5:07 PM

        “Stop posting on Berkman you troll.”

        Didn’t Lance Berkman win a ring with the Cardinals? What did stlouis1baseball say that was bad about Lance? Cranky today are we?

  7. larryboodry - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:06 PM

    Okay, I get that the visitors’ accommodations at Wrigley are bad, but why is he whining about the city itself? Stay classy, Lance Berkman.

    • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:14 PM

      I don’t think that was the context of the statement. I think he was saying that Wrigley is the worst for playing baseball….AND for any other thing a visiting baseball player would care about as far as stadium facilities go (dugouts, weight room, locker room, batting cages, video rooms, etc.).

      • stlouis1baseball - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:21 PM

        It’s much better to just let people arrive at their own conclusions.
        Then…they can get their RAGE! on far more easily.

      • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        True. I guess whenever I read something I need to start thinking, “Hmmmm, is there anything in there I can possibly take offense at and act pissed off about?” Then again, if I did do that, I have a feeling that, “Nope, nothing in there to take offense at.” would be a pretty common conclusion.

  8. thomas844 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM

    Berkman sure likes putting his foot in his mouth…

    • paperlions - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:22 PM

      I’m really not sure how saying things you believe to be true that have also been said by pretty much every player to ever comment on the topic is putting one’s foot in their mouth. When was the last time a visiting player had a positive thing to say about the facilities at Wrigley? 1920?

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM

        I think he meant to say “….putting his food in his mouth…”

      • thomas844 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:48 PM

        I’m also referring to his comments about the Rangers a few years back: “I felt like if they didn’t re-sign Cliff Lee that they were going to be an average team and I feel that’s probably what’s going to end up happening. It’s all about your pitching. I feel like last year was one of those special years where you kind of catch lightning in a bottle and they got hot and they had some guys that I felt like were pitching better than their talent level and consequently they had a great year.”

        Obviously, he and the Rangers are on good terms now and Berkman apologized for his comments, but I was referring to these comments as well as his comments about Chicago. As larryboodry said above, it’s one thing to comment on the stadium, but bashing the whole city like that seems pretty cold.

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:33 PM

        Paperlions says: When was the last time a visiting player had a positive thing to say about the facilities at Wrigley? 1920?
        Well, I’m guessing the Tigers may have had some nice things to say about the place in 1945, when they won 3 of 4 there to win the World Series. But in fairness, the Cubs have not lost even a single World Series game since then.

  9. aiede - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM

    At least Wrigley’s shaped like an actual baseball field, unlike that other over-romanticized beta test of a ballpark in Boston.

  10. jeffa43 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:35 PM

    Best Berkman, Wrigley story….. Fans are giving it to him hard for a 3 game series… Phat Elvis and all that jazz… When someone throws a Twinkie at Berkman..

    He promptly pulls the wrapper off and eats it… The RF bleachers stood up and applauded him.

    Lance never holds back and is honest…. He is shouting at the front of the line for blood testing… ( funny how he comes back from knee surgery (many) and Albert can not.)

    AL rules are Mickey Mouse… Gotta love Lance.

    • kardshark1 - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:35 PM

      You are easily my favorite person on this site. Everything you say always ends up being the “Get off my lawn!!” bitter old man routine. We get it, jeffa43, everybody that is suspected of taking PEDs is the devil in your eyes. The post was fine up until you had to throw in the shot at Pujols at the end. Remember, if a guesstimated 70% of players took PEDs, then 70% of us, your family and everybody you know would have taken them if in the same situation. People outside of baseball aren’t morally superior than people that play baseball. There is a reason why 70% of players are suspected of taking some sort of PED. It’s not cause they’re the devil, it’s cause the upside really outweighed the downside.

      • derklempner - Apr 17, 2013 at 6:26 AM

        No offense (actually, complete offense), but you’re an idiot.

        “…if a guesstimated 70% of players took PEDs, then 70% of us, your family and everybody you know would have taken them if in the same situation.”

        Really? I guess everyone that everyone else knows is a professional athlete who needs to have every conceivable advantage in every aspect of their life to be better than the next person. It’s not like athletes (in this case, baseball players) are going to be in the same situation as other people. It just doesn’t happen.

        The simple fact is that 70% of the population will (99.99% of the time) never be in the same situation as the ball players you reference. So your analogy is worthless.

  11. brewcrewfan54 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    The neighborhood Wrigley is in is cool. The stadium itself is pretty awful.

    • Uncle Charlie - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:34 PM

      Not all stadiums can have slides, meat races, a mascot, AND be PACKED chock full of the opposing teams fans.

      • aaron229 - Apr 16, 2013 at 9:38 PM

        Not all stadiums can have large chunks of concrete with the potential to fall on fans either.

  12. kingmiedus - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:39 PM

    Have to say I agree with Mr. Berkman. I visited last year and man is that place a pile of poop. By far the worst of the 11 or so MLB stadiums I’ve visited in the last couple of years. I compared it to the run down football stadium we have here in Hamilton, Ontario – Ivor Wynne Stadium, which coincidentally was blown up recently.

  13. Ben Cerow - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:50 PM

    I’m sorry that the stadium is not built for the visiting team’s comfort, Mr. Berkman.

  14. seitz26 - Apr 16, 2013 at 2:57 PM

    Wrigley was great the first time I visited it back in 1997, mostly because I think it’s always really cool to see iconic places in person when you’ve seen them on TV for your whole life. I moved to Chicago shortly thereafter and it lost its charm pretty quick, but admittedly that was probably a reaction to Cubs fans and the outpouring of love for the place. Now I’m somewhere in the middle. I appreciate it for what it is, but I don’t think of it as some amazing shrine.

    • 18thstreet - Apr 16, 2013 at 3:04 PM

      I’m sorry. This is far too sensible a comment for this format.

      Get. Out.

    • Uncle Charlie - Apr 16, 2013 at 6:39 PM

      Who said baseball has no hipster appeal? To not like something because others like it.

  15. stevequinn - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:18 PM

    Lance has been known to speak his mind. In this case, he’s correct about Wrigley Field. Jack Buck once called it a cesspool. It stinks of stale beer and urine everywhere. I’ll never attend a game there again.

  16. Kevin Gillman - Apr 16, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Next season, the Cubs will make a big announcement that they signed Lance Berkman to a one year Minor League deal.

  17. blancodiablo - Apr 17, 2013 at 2:17 AM

    Apr 16, 2013, 1:18 PM PM
    Said something stupid
    You’ll never attend a game in one of baseball’s iconic stadiums in one of the greatest cities in the world? My guess is you are really a soccer fan.

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