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Great Moments in Wrigley Field Hate

May 7, 2013, 10:33 AM EDT

Jason Aldean Press Conference AP

It’s just a hate-y day, I guess. This from Mike Bailey at KMOV in St. Louis, explaining why Wrigley Field sucks:

There is something ghastly about watching the St. Louis Cardinals play the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field akin to watching the prom queen dance with Quasimodo in a fetid alley … If Busch is baseball heaven, then Wrigley Field is that other place, a sort of baseball hell … They have another tradition, that of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” in the 7th inning, led off-key by some minor celebrity dragged in to aver his undying allegiance to a team whose moniker is “The Lovable Losers.”

And they are, in more ways than one.

Eh. Character goes a long way?

I dunno. I haven’t been to Busch Stadium so I can’t compare, but Wrigley is neither the gem a lot of people think it is nor the pit this guy says it is. It’s a pretty place to watch a game if you’re not hanging out with drunk post-collegiates in the bleachers. The bathrooms may be the worst thing on the planet, but there’s a lot more to do after a game nearby.  It needs an upgrade, but so do most 99 year-olds.

But I guess the Cardinals rabble has been roused by this, so good job.

  1. Marty McKee - May 7, 2013 at 10:37 AM

    Best fans in baseball. Sure.

    • forsch31 - May 7, 2013 at 11:09 AM

      It’s a sports radio guy. Not exactly someone who I would use to represent any fanbase.

      • mybrunoblog - May 7, 2013 at 11:19 AM

        Agreed. A lot of the sports radio guys are the annoying jerk you were sitting next to at the last game you were at.
        Unfortunately that guy has a radio show to espouse idiotic views and try to create controversy where there is none.

      • forsch31 - May 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM

        Whoops…not radio, television station website writer. Whoo.

        Funnily enough, I couldn’t find a bio for Mr. Bailey at KMOV, but he apparently has one as a Yahoo! Contributor:

        “Mike Bailey was a professional scout for the Chicago Cubs and a former college and high school baseball coach. He has followed the St. Louis Cardinals closely for over 40 years. He has written professionally for 35 years and was a managing editor in the Chicago Sun-Times News Group.”

        Cardinals fan who worked then covered the Cub? My, sir, that axe must be battered by now….

      • mckludge - May 7, 2013 at 12:14 PM

        Most sports journalists outside of Chicago hate Wrigley because the press workspace in Wrigley is *tiny* compared to modern ballparks. They are probably used to office chairs, network access, a regular work environment. At Wrigley, they basically get a folding chair and about 3 feet of table top.

    • fearlessleader - May 7, 2013 at 11:11 AM

      Funny, the “Great Moments in A-Rod hate” post didn’t immediately generate snarky comments about all Yankee fans. It’s almost as if some people are so eager to slam Cardinal fans that they’ll conflate one second-tier sportswriter’s attempt at humor with an entire fanbase’s attitude!

      Looking forward to making my first Wrigley visit soon and seeing for myself….

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:25 PM

        It’s not that bad, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the bathroom troughs….they have those in the women’s bathrooms too, right?

  2. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - May 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Leave it to somebody from St. Louis to write that column.

    • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      …or somebody that has worked for both the Cubs and the Sun-Times.

  3. splintchesthair - May 7, 2013 at 10:38 AM

    Boy, some people can’t be happy even when they win all the time, huh? Sheesh.

  4. danaking - May 7, 2013 at 10:40 AM

    I haven’t been to Busch, but I have also never before heard it referred to as “baseball heaven.”

    I’ve been to Wrigley on many occasions. Craig has described it well.

    • 18thstreet - May 7, 2013 at 10:55 AM

      I toured the ballpark when I was in St. Louis a couple months ago. (No game taking place, obviously.)

      Wrigley seemed a lot better to me. And not just because of the history, but also because the new ballparks cater to the richest fans with wider seats and other amenities while the older ballparks, absent luxury boxes, have a much better experience for fans sitting in the upper deck. (RFK Stadium was pretty terrible, but the upper deck was much closer to the field than the upper decks at Nationals Park.)

      If I were spending $200 a ticket, I’d rather sit in a new ballpark. If I came to the games hungry, I’d probably prefer the new places. If I had to park at the games, instead of taking public transit, I’d prefer the new places.

      But none of those apply to me. I’d rather spend $40 a ticket, and buy a beer and two hotdogs to tide me over until I get home. And I hope Wrigley lasts forever. But — as I’ve said many times — they need to revamp that useless scoreboard in center, which has been useless for 60 years.

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:29 PM

        If you weight more than 140 lbs, you would probably also greatly prefer the newer places.

      • 18thstreet - May 7, 2013 at 1:21 PM

        PaperLions is probably right. I’m skinny.

    • forsch31 - May 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

      Busch is a nice park, but the stadium itself is simply another retro design, and one of the less distinctive ones.

      • 18thstreet - May 7, 2013 at 11:26 AM

        I think the use of the city’s most famous landmark in the view beyond center field is terrific. So while the park itself isn’t that interesting, you know IMMEDIATELY looking at the game on TV that you’re in St. Louis.

      • umrguy42 - May 7, 2013 at 12:03 PM

        18thstreet, you said it. The park is ok, but has some really nice city views out of center-left field. I like the look of the outside as well.

  5. Joe - May 7, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    I took a tour of Busch Stadium last spring (the Cards were out of time). It’s a beautiful place, but most of the tour was spent showing off all the clubs and restaurants in the building where you can enjoy the game by pretending you’re at a bar rather than by actually watching the game.

    • 18thstreet - May 7, 2013 at 11:20 AM

      That’s true. The tour was largely an advertisement for special things you could buy. That’s fine, that’s their right. But I think they ought to allow you to trade in your used tour ticket for $5 off a game ticket.

  6. randygnyc - May 7, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    That analysis is disgusting. The history of a ballpark counts. I’m no fan of the Red Sox, but its the only place left where Ruth, mantle, Williams have all played. Wrigley needs a facelift, or more, but its great. I remember, many years ago my first time in Chicago. It was 20years ago in the dead of winter, and I made my wife come with me to Wrigley so I could see it and get pictures there. (Still sad/angry Yankee stadium is gone.)

  7. Mike Wanhatalo - May 7, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    Cards Fan Here… these comments don’t reflect the views of all of us. I have been to Wrigley many times and have enjoyed it. Surr the bathrooms are The Pit of Despair, but it is a great place to catch a day game. Woo Woo, the Cubby Bear, and some Old Style… not a bad way to spend the afternoon.

  8. apmn - May 7, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    Aw, come on. Ragging on a rival team’s city, stadium, and fans is just a fun part of rivalries. We don’t need to yell “h8terz!” every time this happens.

  9. cur68 - May 7, 2013 at 11:06 AM

    I’ve been to Busch. Its ok. The streets around it are crowded and congested and there is endless construction, so its held back quite a bit by its surroundings. Inside its not bad: a festival of concrete, but done well enough that you don’t mind it too much. I had difficulty finding the bathrooms at Busch and most of their shops and whatnot were pretty inconvenient unless you were in the first level. Also their effin elevator broke down after the game and left us and whole lot of elderly and some disabled folks stranded 3 decks up. No fun going down all those ramps when you have wheels to contend with.

    What really hurt Busch for me, though is that I’d just been to Kaufman. Kaufman is WAY nicer. Better parking. Terrific fans and stadium staff. Good food. Pretty as anything on the inside with a nice waterfall, green grass, and splendid sight lines. Even the bathrooms were nicer and more convenient at Kaufman. Elevator worked just fine, too. What’s more, it was cheap. Saw the Yankees and the Red Sox for a fraction of what I saw the Braves at Busch.

    Now, having never been to Wrigley, I can’t comment on it. However, anyone having spent time at Busch shouldn’t have too hard a time getting used to Wrigley for the most part. Doesn’t sound that different to me.

    • cardsfanandi - May 7, 2013 at 12:02 PM

      I’ve heard the same thing about Kaufman from other people, Cur. I’m going on Memorial Day when the Cards and Royals play each other, and I’m pretty excited to see a game at another stadium. I think any stadium is baseball heaven for a fandom simply because there’s baseball being played there. There’s nothing special about Busch, but I love every minute of watching a game because it’s home.

      I hate when a few pretentious people run their mouths, and everyone is suddenly pulling out the “best fans in baseball” thing. We don’t all feel like this, I promise.

      • stlouis1baseball - May 7, 2013 at 12:15 PM

        On point with your entire post Andi. I have heard the same thing (several times) about Kaufman. I also despise the best fans bullshit. So much so…I choose to dismiss it as something everyone else says when they want to get their hate on.

    • umrguy42 - May 7, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Oh man, I remember all the ramps from old Busch (Busch II), that was a constant back-and-forth. I had great seats the only time I saw a game the current incarnation, so not much in the way of ramps there.

  10. kyzslew77 - May 7, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    Former Chicago resident (transplant, not native) here who has been to Wrigley several times and thinks it kind of sucks. That said, one of the best parts about it is that it’s (usually) not full of Cardinals fans, many of whom are among the worst people on the planet.

  11. creek0512 - May 7, 2013 at 11:12 AM

    Since when is Cardinals fans mocking the Cubs a news story?

  12. coryfor3 - May 7, 2013 at 11:14 AM

    Is he one of the classy best fans in baseball?

  13. natslady - May 7, 2013 at 11:36 AM

    I went to Wrigley two summers ago. Only park I’ve ever been at where the fans didn’t immediately leave when the game was postponed (before it started) for rain. Nope, they just stayed in their seats and kept ordering beers… The Ladies bathroom was fine… They have a table across the street for reselling tickets, which is very handy (they are making a determined effort to clean up 1/2 Street outside Nats Park, so, no scalpers. Guess they are serious about wanting an All-Star Game eventually). The only problem I had was it was very hard to see the actual, y’know, game from my seat. I could see the scoreboard and an occasional play, and the pitchers who warmed up in front of me, that was about it. The system for parking is curious, but it works.

  14. hojo20 - May 7, 2013 at 11:41 AM

    There’s nothing wrong with the Wrigley bathrooms. Do people need an attendant giving out hand towels?

    • splintchesthair - May 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

      It would be nice if they were spruced up a little bit, but this is pretty much my opinion on them, too. How much time do you want to spend in the restroom at a ballgame, anyway?

  15. therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 12:24 PM

    Cardinals fans think they are God’s gift to baseball, standing for all that is right and morally good about the game, while looking down their noses at the rest of us, who are hopelessly flawed.

    As a Philadelphia fan, they make me sick to my stomach (but not sick enough to want to puke all over the child sitting in front of me).

    • therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 12:28 PM

      And I’ve bene to Wrigley several times, and I like it very much.

    • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:34 PM

      Do you think Phillies fans have been accurately characterized by the media? No? Then why would you think such a thing about other fan bases?

      Cardinal fans, as a group, don’t have a large enough world view to really consider themselves within the context of all of baseball or all of baseball fans. They just like baseball and the Cardinals…and that really is where it ends. Anything else is 100% media contrivance.

      • therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 12:36 PM

        If the media contrived Cardinals fans the way I’ve described them above, I must have missed it. These are first hand experiences. I’ve lived all over the U.S.. There is nothing worse than the high-handedness of that bunch. Even the “we just like baseball and the cardinals, and that is where it ends” line is delivered with the classic humblebrag tone.

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

        Uh huh.

        I need more data. For example, your experience, where in the US you have lived (all 50 states and territories?), and citations to verify your stories.

      • paperlions - May 7, 2013 at 12:40 PM

        …and that isn’t a humblebrag, you fuckstick…it is the same way I would characterize every single fan base….because it is true of pretty much everyone. The entire “this fan base/that fan base” bullshit is 100% media driven.

    • stlouis1baseball - May 7, 2013 at 12:51 PM

      “As a Philadelphia fan, they make me sick to my stomach.

      This is choice right here. I can’t wait to pass it along to all my Reds loving buddies.

  16. therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

    And by and large, I do think Philadelphia fans have been accurately described in the media. The last time I checked, we in fact DID hurl D-batteries at JD Drew, and even had signs in the stands that said “JD Jew.” Am I proud of it? No. But I’m not in denial, either.

  17. therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 12:47 PM

    Wow…somebody’s panties are in a bunch.

    I’ve lived in Philly (home), St. Louis, Minnesota, Chicago and New York. It’s a pretty nice mix. I’ve gone to several games in each town.

    Every fan base has its own character, there’s no question about it.

    Cardinals fans were by far the worst, most holier-than-thou of the bunch. Their franchise is the best, always does things the right way, and booing is bad bad bad for the game, even if your team is dogging it!

    And yes, most of the things they say with feigned innocence are humble-brags when taken in context, usually about why their town is home to “baseball heaven,” the morally right bastion of how the game should be played…and watched.

    The truth hurts, I know.

    I’m not in denial about the boorishness of my fanbase. Why can’t you cop to the midwestern tinged snootiness of yours?

    • stlouis1baseball - May 7, 2013 at 12:54 PM

      I have never used the words “baseball heaven” and/or “best fans in baseball” in my entire life.
      To do so would be self-centered, conceited and incredibly fucking annoying.
      I will also NOT apologize for standing up and clapping when an opposing player makes a great play.
      If that sort of thing hurts your feelings you might want to make an appointment with a Doctor.

      • therealtrenches - May 7, 2013 at 1:03 PM

        I can’t find the part of what I wrote where I asked you to apologize for applauding an opponent’s good play.

        In fact, that’s the kind of thing I liked about Cardinals fans.

        The problem comes in the aftermath, when they think that a., their good sportsmanship is a defining trait of their fanbase that the rest of us are not sophisticated enough to understand, and b., they deserve a medal for it.

        As you state so succinctly above, that is “conceited and incredibly fucking annoying.”

    • stlouis1baseball - May 7, 2013 at 1:07 PM

      I didn’t say you asked me to apologize. I included that as I have actually heard “fans” of other teams bitch about it when they see it. Almost as if they feel it makes them look bad or something. If true…that is their problem and no one else’s. I really try to spend zero time thinking about it.
      And yes…I just thought about it. Damn it Man!

  18. crookedstick - May 7, 2013 at 1:00 PM

    ” The entire “this fan base/that fan base” bullshit is 100% media driven.”

    Absolutely true, unless you consider the fact that 95% of the Cardinal marketing efforts cite at some point “the best fans in baseball” line. Ribbon board and scoreboard messages, & Cardinal generated advertising to perpetuate the myth.

    But yes, it’s all the damned media’s fault!!

  19. deep64blue - May 7, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Wrigley is the worst stadium I’ve ever watched Baseball in, and I was in Shea during it’s last Season!

  20. realgone2 - May 7, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Try watching a baseball game at the multi purpose stadium at the University of Moscow. You wanna talk about a hell hole.

  21. bgrubb - May 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

    This Cardinal fan couldn’t disagree more with Mike Bailey… I LOVE Wrigley. Yes, the bathrooms suck and the 7th inning stretch singing has become rather ridiculous… but those are a small price to pay for everything that is RIGHT about Wrigley.

  22. nastyn8770 - May 7, 2013 at 7:10 PM

    Die hard lifelong cubs fan here and I believe Wrigley has held our team back for too long. I never heard the team get booed until recent years. People never cared if we won or lost they were just going to see a game at historic Wrigley Field. Therefore there was really no outside pressure on the team to win. I for one wouldn’t mind seeing that place go..

  23. Bob - May 8, 2013 at 10:01 AM

    Wrigley is cool, but it’s not the end-all, be-all. However, it is much better than Fenway, which is an overrated toilet.

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