Wow, the man who is trying to
redevelop and ruin Wrigleyville turn the Cubs into winners sent ME an e mail. Me and probably about a million other distraught Cubs fans on their mailing list.
I’ll save what could be about 500 pages of responses to this personal note from the owner of the Cubs, but I will say this to his last paragraph. I’ll be looking for you IF I decide to take out a loan to go to a game next year. Oh yes.
And tonight in St. Louis, where I live, the Cardinals take on the Dodgers in the first game of the NLCS. Something that I don’t think I’ll even have the chance to say about the Cubs until at least 2016.
A look back at the nightmare some called the Cubs 2013 season on the eve of the ultimate Cubs failure, letting the cardinals clinch the NL Central by losing to them in St. Louis.
And I didn’t even spout off about the whole Old Style thing, although I should have.
I haven’t posted about the Cubs all this season for one simple reason. They stink. The owners stink, the players try their best but overall they stink, and it’s been a horrible season. I haven’t even gotten the chance to get up to the Friendly Confines Of Wrigley Field for a game due to work commitments.
But when I woke up this morning and saw this story in what we used to call the World’s Greatest Newspaper, my blood went into boiling mode and I simply had to chime in with my thoughts.
Anheuser-Busch new Cubs exclusive beer sponsor
Large beer sign to go up in Wrigley Field’s right-field bleachers
By Josh Noel and Paul Sullivan, Chicago Tribune reporters
10:09 PM CDT, September 6, 2013The Cubs announced a deal Friday to make Anheuser-Busch their exclusive beer sponsor in 2014 and beyond, and they plan to install a 650-square-foot Budweiser sign in the right-field bleachers.
That’s bad news for Old Style, which has had an affiliation with the team for more than 60 years, as well as for Wrigleyville rooftop owners opposed to installing a large sign that could obstruct some views.
A source said the Cubs will install a mock-up of the sign when the team goes on the road next week. While it’s questionable whether construction on the $300 million ballpark renovation plan will begin this offseason as planned, the Cubs have the go-ahead to install the sign either way.
“Absolutely,” Cubs spokesman Julian Green said. “We could potentially put up the sign by 2014 (before construction begins). … We have the approval to put up a left-field video board and a right-field sign, and with Anheuser-Busch as our exclusive marketing partner, we can do it by opening day.”
The Cubs are running out of time to start the first phase of their Wrigley renovation plan, which is expected to take place over five offseasons. They had hoped to begin construction Sept. 26, the day after the Cubs’ final home game.
Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said during a radio broadcast of Thursday’s playoff game of the franchise’s Double-A Tennessee affiliate that the heavy construction likely would have to wait until after next season. He did say, though, that fans would start seeing some changes in 2014 and more in 2015.
Green said Friday that Ricketts’ comment doesn’t mean the Cubs are resigned to begin the major parts of the project after the 2014 season, but that several hurdles remain before they can start, and time is running short. They originally planned to finish an expansion of the home clubhouse before next season, which now appears unlikely.
Green said the “rooftop issue” still needs to be resolved before the ballpark renovation and work on a proposed $200 million hotel on Clark Street, across from Wrigley, can begin. The Cubs want assurances from rooftop owners they won’t sue over the contract they signed with the team in 2004 providing the Cubs with 17 percent of their revenue.
“We’re still talking to the rooftop owners to come to a resolution,” Green said. “Basically the (Ricketts) family is not comfortable making a $500 million investment with the threat of a lawsuit hanging over their heads.”
But the beer sign and the video board can be installed without the permission of the rooftop owners, and both could be up during the 2014 season, the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field.
As for the exclusive beer sponsorship, Cubs fans can expect to see Goose Island flowing at the ballpark in 2014. Brewery spokeswoman Ana Serafin said it had not been determined which Anheuser-Busch brands would be available, or in what quantity, but suggested the brewery’s “Chicago-influenced beers” would be obvious candidates.
Goose Island, which regained the beer contract this summer at the Pitchfork Music Festival, experimented with a pair of brews made just for the weekend-long fest. Though a considerably larger investment, would Goose Island consider a Wrigley-only exclusive too?
“A-B is being really supportive of our creativity,” Serafin said. “If we come back and tell them we want to create XYZ crazy beer and it would be perfect for baseball, they would listen. But we don’t know yet how creative we can get.”
For Old Style lovers and traditionalists who drink it only at Wrigley, hope springs eternal. Green said the team and its concessions management partner, Levy Restaurants, might choose to continue serving Old Style in 2014.
The Anheuser-Busch deal is a marketing agreement only. Budweiser will maintain naming rights throughout the stadium, but that doesn’t mean Budweiser products will be served exclusively at Wrigley, which would be illegal.
Still, the agreement gives Budweiser ample muscle when it comes time to set the Wrigley Field beer menu for 2014 and beyond. It appears likely vendors no longer will be selling Old Style in the aisles after 2013.
Whether the deal signals a seismic shift in Wrigley’s beer offerings is yet to be seen, but smaller craft breweries such as Revolution Brewing don’t sound optimistic.
“Sounds like a lot of dollars changed hands, and we just don’t do anything like that to sell beer,” Revolution founder Josh Deth said in an email. “We let the malt, hops and yeast do the talking, not the Benjamins. We’re hopeful the Cubs and Levy will want to pour actual craft beer made in Chicago. And I think the fans are too.”
I don’t drink a lot of beer, I’m a Maker’s Mark guy myself, but as long as I’ve been able to
use a fake ID to get beer drink, I’ve enjoyed a pure brewed Old Style at Wrigley Field. Just like eating a hot dog at a ballpark tastes different, drinking an Old Style at Wrigley made it taste better, way better. It’s part of the Cubs Experience, but now it looks like it may go the way of Frosty Malts and Ron Santo Pizza.
I understand times change, but Old Style has managed to stay in business for many years, partly because of the loyalty of Cubs fans, the Cubs organization, and the association the brand has enjoyed with the Cubs for as long as I can remember. Hardly anything beats sitting in the stands at Wrigley, even the Budweiser Bleachers, enjoying a semi-cold Old Style and seeing Starlin Castro blow a routine force out. But it looks like that may not be happening in the future.
Tom Ricketts and Cubs Management have done a lot to make me and other Cubs fans angry since they bought the club. I won’t list everything here, and don’t get me started on the Wrigley Field renovation plans. But this time they’ve crossed the Red, um YELLOW LINE when it comes to how they run the club and the kind of fan experience they give us.
So what can we do in answer to this unprovoked attack on the Cubs Experience? Sadly, not much. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell them what you think, although they probably won’t answer you back. Anheuser-Busch InBev is allegedly headquartered here in St. Louis, and I know people down at “The Brewery” who will be getting calls and emails from me all next week. You could appeal to Kevin Feehan, the guy in charge of selling Budweiser in Chicago, to let the Old Style pour, but even if you could get him to respond, he’d probably blame someone in San Paulo or Brussels, the REAL homes of A-B, for the decision.
That leaves one final avenue of appeal, Levy Restaurants, who handles food service at Wrigley Field, and might actually have the power to keep the pure brewed Old Style flowing at the ballpark. Their phone number is (773) 975-3606 and you should join me in calling them during weekday business hours or contact them on the Interwebz and (NICELY) demand your Old Style. They’re also on Facebook and Twitter if you feel inclined to follow then and send them a NICE message about this abhorrent situation. Don’t act like a Chicago policeman and be all pushy and mean, ask them NICELY to keep Old Style at Wrigley Field. Who knows, it might actually work. And monkeys could fly out of my butt.
Some things, like the Cubs having a winning season, are an uphill battle. Getting Old Style in Wrigley Field might be one too. But I leave you with the encouraging words of Cub Fan John Belushi as you join me on the quest to keep at least ONE Wrigley Field tradition alive. WHO’S WITH ME?
- Budweiser Logo Coming to Wrigley’s Right-Field Sign (adage.com)
- Cubs Drop Old Style (wgntv.com)
- Tom Ricketts says quick fix not in cards for Cubs (suntimes.com)
The Chicago Cubs kick off their 2013 season Monday in Pittsburgh and have their home opener at Wrigley Field a week later. This is going to be another rough year for the Cubs, and I’m using the miracle of multimedia to illustrate my thoughts on what I once called the “2013 Season Of A Dream”, before it became apparent that a club dedicated to rebuilding, on and off the field and mired in politics has no chance of even finishing over .500.
First, my thoughts on video. Like the Cubs themselves, the quality is kind of substandard, and for that I apologize.
And because all of us Social Media Ninjas or Social Media Gurus or whatever the people who really don’t know a thing about social media want to call themselves these days say that everything you post needs a visual, I’ve created this with the help of the good people at someecards.com.
2013 CUBS CLUB MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS
- Personalized membership card
- Membership sticker
- 2013 MLB.com Gameday Audio for your computer*
- Opportunity to participate in an exclusive Cubs Club members-only on-field event*
- Exclusive email newsletter
- Access to members-only website with exclusive content and offers
- Opportunity to receive a 30-day trial to the MLB Insiders Club*
Not a horrible deal, but basically handing a double Sawbuck to the Rickets Family for nothing, except the Gameday Audio, which comes from MLB Advanced Media. And for the same 20 bucks, about the price of a hot dog and a Budweiser at the St. Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium, I can get all this cool geeked out stuff for my phone, MLB At Bat.
At Bat for Android Phones
- Multi-platform live audio access for At Bat 13 subscribers (portable to Mac/PC with a valid MLB.com account)
- Universal support for At Bat 13 subscribers, accessible on Android smartphones and tablets and other supported mobile devices
- Re-designed individual team pages
- Re-architected news section navigation
- Expanded video highlight integration
- One-time annual fee of $19.99 for the entire 2013 season
- MLB.TV Premium subscribers receive At Bat 13 for free with log-in
- Access your MLB.TV Premium subscription to watch live video
- Listen to available live radio broadcasts
- Customize At Bat’s home screen to feature your designated favorite team.
- Favorite team home screen widget for one-click access to your favorite team’s At Bat homepage
- MLB home screen widget for in-progress scores around the league
- Follow batter-by-batter action for every game
- Enhanced video library archive, searchable by player, team or keyword
- Breaking news, schedules and interactive rosters and players stats for every team
DO I LOOK STUPID? If I’m going to give up 20 bucks this year, knowing that the Cubs will not be great, tickets will be easy to find when I go to the Friendly Confines Of Wrigley Field, and the Cubs Club gives me almost nothing special, who do you think is getting my “contribution” this year? You betcha, MLB Advanced Media and At Bat 2013.
I’m not looking forward to the 2013 Cubs season from a competitive basis for sure, and I’m not sure if I’m even looking forward to having to hear about all the off field distractions that will contribute to a poor performance on the diamond. It saddens me that I feel this way even before the first pitch is thrown out. Perhaps I’ve just been kicked in the teeth enough over the years. Perhaps I’m setting realistic expectations for the year ahead. Or perhaps the dreams of this kid have finally evaporated like the foam off of a pure brewed Old Style.
In his annual video preview of the upcoming Cubs season, Mark is joined by special guests, including the owner of the Cubs!
From the “get it while you can” file, before Cubs games leave WGN Television after the 2014 season, the station has released the schedule of games they’ll be carrying or shuffling off to WCIU in Chicago this season. Here it is for your consumption:
WGN 9 (9.1) & WCIU 26 (26.1)
CHICAGO CUBS BASEBALL
2013 CHICAGO TV SCHEDULE
Central Time/Subject To Change
Day Date Game PregameGameCoverage Postgame Channel
Fri 03/15/13 Cubs @ White Sox (Preseason) 2:00 PM WGN
Sat 03/16/13 Cubs vs Kansas City (Preseason) 3:00 PM WGN
Sun 03/17/13 Cubs @ Oakland (Preseason) 3:00 PM WGN
Fri 03/22/13 Cubs @ Milwaukee (Preseason) 3:00 PM WGN
Sat 03/23/13 Cubs vs LA Angels (Preseason) 3:00 PM WGN
Mon 04/01/13 Cubs @ Pittsburgh 12:30 PM 3:15 PM WGN
Thu 04/04/13 Cubs @ Pittsburgh 11:30 AM 2:15 PM WGN
Sat 04/06/13 Cubs @ Atlanta 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Mon 04/08/13 Cubs vs Milwaukee 12:30 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Tue 04/09/13 Cubs vs Milwaukee 7:00 PM WGN
Sun 04/14/13 Cubs vs San Francisco 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 04/17/13 Cubs vs Texas 7:00 PM WGN
Thu 04/18/13 Cubs vs Texas 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Fri 04/19/13 Cubs @ Milwaukee 7:00 PM WCIU
Tue 04/23/13 Cubs @ Cincinnati 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Thu 04/25/13 Cubs @ Miami 6:00 PM WCIU
Fri 04/26/13 Cubs @ Miami 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Tue 04/30/13 Cubs vs San Diego 7:00 PM WCIU
Sun 05/05/13 Cubs vs Cincinnati 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Tue 05/07/13 Cubs vs St. Louis 7:00 PM WGN
Fri 05/10/13 Cubs @ Washington 6:00 PM WCIU
Sun 05/12/13 Cubs @ Washington 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 3:15 PM WGN
Mon 05/13/13 Cubs vs Colorado 7:00 PM WCIU
Fri 05/17/13 Cubs vs NY Mets 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 05/19/13 Cubs vs NY Mets 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 05/22/13 Cubs @ Pittsburgh 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Fri 05/24/13 Cubs @ Cincinnati 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Sat 05/25/13 Cubs @ Cincinnati 2:30 PM 3:00 PM WGN
Mon 05/27/13 Cubs @ White Sox 5:30 PM 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Tue 05/28/13 Cubs @ White Sox 7:00 PM WCIU
Wed 05/29/13 Cubs vs White Sox 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Thu 05/30/13 Cubs vs White Sox 12:30 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 06/02/13 Cubs vs Arizona 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Tue 06/04/13 Cubs @ LA Angels 9:00 PM WGN
Fri 06/07/13 Cubs vs Pittsburgh 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 06/09/13 Cubs vs Pittsburgh 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Tue 06/11/13 Cubs vs Cincinnati 7:00 PM WGN
Sun 06/16/13 Cubs @ NY Mets 12:00 PM 2:45 PM WGN
Mon 06/17/13 Cubs @ St. Louis 6:00 PM WCIU
Thu 06/20/13 Cubs @ St. Louis 7:00 PM 7:05 PM WGN
Sat 06/22/13 Cubs vs Houston 2:30 PM 3:00 PM WGN
Wed 06/26/13 Cubs @ Milwaukee 7:00 PM WGN
Fri 06/28/13 Cubs @ Seattle 9:00 PM WGN
Thu 07/04/13 Cubs @ Oakland 3:00 PM WGN
Sat 07/06/13 Cubs vs Pittsburgh 2:30 PM 3:00 PM WGN
Sun 07/07/13 Cubs vs Pittsburgh 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 07/10/13 Cubs vs LA Angels 7:00 PM WGN
Fri 07/12/13 Cubs vs St. Louis 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Fri 07/19/13 Cubs @ Colorado 7:00 PM 7:30 PM WGN
Sat 07/20/13 Cubs @ Colorado 7:00 PM WGN
Tue 07/23/13 Cubs @ Arizona 8:00 PM 8:30 PM WGN
Thu 07/25/13 Cubs @ Arizona 8:00 PM 8:30 PM WGN
Fri 07/26/13 Cubs @ San Francisco 9:00 PM 9:05 PM WGN
Sun 07/28/13 Cubs @ San Francisco 3:00 PM 5:45 PM WGN
Wed 07/31/13 Cubs vs Milwaukee 7:00 PM WGN
Fri 08/02/13 Cubs vs LA Dodgers 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 08/04/13 Cubs vs LA Dodgers 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 08/07/13 Cubs @ Philadelphia 6:00 PM WCIU
Fri 08/09/13 Cubs @ St. Louis 7:00 PM 7:05 PM WGN
Sat 08/10/13 Cubs @ St. Louis 6:00 PM 6:05 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Sun 08/11/13 Cubs @ St. Louis 1:00 PM 1:05 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 08/14/13 Cubs vs Cincinnati 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 08/18/13 Cubs vs St. Louis 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 08/21/13 Cubs vs Washington 7:00 PM WGN
Thu 08/22/13 Cubs vs Washington 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sat 08/24/13 Cubs @ San Diego 7:00 PM 7:30 PM WGN
Sun 08/25/13 Cubs @ San Diego 3:00 PM 5:45 PM WGN
Tue 08/27/13 Cubs @ LA Dodgers 9:00 PM WGN
Fri 08/30/13 Cubs vs Philadelphia 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 09/01/13 Cubs vs Philadelphia 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Mon 09/02/13 Cubs vs Miami 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Fri 09/06/13 Cubs vs Milwaukee 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sun 09/08/13 Cubs vs Milwaukee 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 09/11/13 Cubs @ Cincinnati 11:30 AM 2:15 PM WGN
Thu 09/12/13 Cubs @ Pittsburgh 6:00 PM 8:45 PM WGN
Sun 09/15/13 Cubs @ Pittsburgh 12:00 PM 12:30 PM 3:15 PM WGN
Mon 09/16/13 Cubs @ Milwaukee 7:00 PM WGN
Thu 09/19/13 Cubs @ Milwaukee 1:00 PM 3:45 PM WGN
Sat 09/21/13 Cubs vs Atlanta 2:30 PM 3:00 PM WGN
Sun 09/22/13 Cubs vs Atlanta 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Wed 09/25/13 Cubs vs Pittsburgh 1:00 PM 1:10 PM 4:15 PM WGN
Sat 09/28/13 Cubs @ St. Louis 6:00 PM 6:05 PM 8:45 PM WGN
So there you have it, what will probably be the next to last season of exciting Cubs Baseball on the Big Channel 9 and cable systems around America. You may plan your sick days now.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I lifted this photo from the Cubs Facebook feed. Let’s hope their play this season is as interesting as their graphics.
STAN MUSIAL IN WRIGLEY FIELD
But it was a game he wasn’t supposed to play that led to his inadvertently making history at the Friendly Confines.
The year was 1958. The date was May 13th.
But fate intervened. In the top of the 6th, with Moe Drabowsky (photo) on the mound and the Cubs leading the game 3-1, the Cardinals had one out and a runner in scoring position. Cardinals pitcher Sam Jones (the former Cub) was up to bat. Cardinals manager Fred Hutchinson looked down the bench in his dugout and couldn’t resist. After all, he had a hall of famer sitting on the bench, and history be damned, the Cardinals wanted to win the game.
So, Musial pinch hit for Jones, and lashed a double down the line. It was the 3000th hit of his career. And it happened at Wrigley Field.
Cardinals fans were not amused.
Musial said at the time: “I never realized that batting a little ball around could cause so much commotion. I now know how (Charles) Lindbergh must have felt when he returned from St. Louis.” On June 30, 1959, Musial was involved in another memorable moment at Wrigley Field–probably the most bizarre moment in his career–the infamous two balls in play at once play.
He was hitting against Cubs pitcher Bob Anderson. Anderson’s 3-1 pitch sailed back to the screen, and was called “ball four.” But Cubs catcher Sammy Taylor ignored the baseball‚ insisting to the umpire that it had ticked off Musial’s bat. As the Cubs manager joined the argument at home plate‚ Musial’s teammates assumed it was a live ball and shouted at Musial to run to second base.
Cubs third baseman Alvin Dark rushed in to retrieve the ball, but not before it was picked up by the bat boy, and tossed aside. Meanwhile, the home plate umpire had mistakenly given a new ball to the catcher. Dark grabbed the first baseball, while pitcher Anderson grabbed the new one, and both men simultaneously threw their baseballs to shortstop Ernie Banks, who caught one of them. Seeing one of the two throws bounce into center field, Musial got up to advance to third base, and was tagged out by Banks with the other ball.
In the confusion, Musial was sent back to first base, before being ruled out at second. (Here’s the audio play by play of that incredibly confusing moment).
In 1962, near the end of his playing days (he retired after the 1963 season), Musial had another moment at Wrigley Field that he considered one of the highlights of his career. His son Dick, who was a track star at Notre Dame, took the day off school and came to Wrigley to watch his father play. Musial not only hit a home run, he did something that really impressed his son. He stole a base.
He was 42 years old at the time.
Rick Kaempfer is the man behind Just One Bad Century, and I highly recommend both that site and his personal blog for your reading pleasure. And I thank him for sharing the story about Stan The Man from Just One Bad Century.
- Fans remember Stan Musial as a ‘hometown hero’ (stltoday.com)
- ‘We’re not the same without Stan’ (stltoday.com)
- Bernie: Musial’s value as a person transcended statistics (stltoday.com)
From the good people at WGN TV, this photo: