Entropy demands that systems run down, that clocks stop, empires crumble, and the glittering good generally decays into the shabby bad. It is the columnist's job, frequently, to bemoan this fact, clutching at the ashes of the past and letting out a wail before the rain washes them away and into the sewer.
So I was interested Friday, when I had the chance to visit Wrigley Field for the first time since the Ricketts clan put in a pair of jumbo TV screen scoreboards, how these perversions of Wrigley's bucolic tradition would go down. Just how horrible would it be? Just how much of a thumb in the eye of all that is holy would it be?
I found ... to my vast surprise ... they were ... fine. As in okay. Not a problem. Even ... dare I say it... an ...improvement.
The Toyota plug tucked under the iconic Wrigley sign at the corner of Clark and Addison? Fine. The name "Wrigley Field" is itself a plug — gum, remember? — and to be honest, other names of other sponsors have been tucked there before. The sign itself is unchanged.
|Left field scoreboard: not a problem.|
They also kept the crowd occupied by showing videos of plays more exciting than anything we were seeing on the field, where the Cubs limped along before losing 3-2 to the Pirates, though they made a good show in the 9th inning and stranded the tying run on third.
I didn't mind the scoreboard in right field either, admiring the way they used a Wrigley
|Right field scoreboard: does not suck.|
This isn't a blanket endorsement of the Ricketts, who are still charmless, right wingers who think Scott Walker should be president. It's hard enough to pay $4.50 for a bag of peanuts without also underwriting the Republican destruction of the American government. The skeleton of whatever godawful hotel they're building just to the north of Wrigley loomed, and we'll have to see how that turns out. But the little ballpark still has its beauty, the concessions still suck—$3.75 for a cup of coffee that might have been hot at one point, but at best held the memory of warmth when handed to me from the concession stand. There is advanced urn technology that will keep coffee hot until the moment it is sold. Maybe that's coming in a future remodeling of the place.