By Adam Harris-
(CBS) There are many indications of change taking place at Wrigley Field that show Tom Ricketts’s dedication to winning.
The pursuit and signing of now President Theo Epstein was the first and the most significant move that indicates Ricketts wants to change the Cubs organization for the better, even if it disagrees with the vast history and tradition of the club.
Another, and more recent, measurable change is the plan to add a 70-foot LED scoreboard to the right field wall, thus changing the structure of Wrigley Field using the beloved ivy as a launching point.
I love this idea. I love this idea for many reasons.
Not only does this give the fan a more modern way to watch the game while at Wrigley, but it is a statement that the Cubs organization is not afraid to change even the most precious of images it possesses, Wrigley Field’s bleachers resting on the landmarked wall.
The plan raises the bleachers to allow the scoreboard to run below the newly constructed seats. This shows that nothing is untouchable in the Cubs organization.
Major changes still need to be made with how this organization operates though. Remember, the Cubs have not won a World Series in 103 years. Everything is susceptible to change. Even the ballpark.
If I had my way, I would blow up the entire grand stand and construct a modern stadium where the players would have the amenities needed to perform at a high quality, and the fans would have the correct facilities to watch a game comfortably.
It doesn’t look like this is going to happen. Even the proposed plans Ricketts has to change the grandstand will not eliminate it completely, so I am forced to be content with the slight modernization to the right field wall and bleachers.
For right now, that is all I need. The installation of a modern 70-75 foot scoreboard in right field represents a new era in Cubs baseball. If the outfield bleachers aren’t untouchable, nothing is untouchable on the north side.
When Theo Epstein took over baseball operations for the Cubs this off-season, he promised to implement a new way of doing things.
“The way to see the player most accurately, to get the truest picture of the player, is to put both those lenses together [both sabermetric analysis and visual scouting] and look through them simultaneously,” Epstein said at his introductory press conference last October. “You will get a pretty darn accurate depiction of the player.”
Theo is working toward changing the baseball side of things, with the trading of Carlos Zambrano, the signing of lefty Paul Maholm, the signing of outfielder David DeJesus, the trade for Padres first base prospect Anthony Rizzo, and the signing of Reed Johnson.
Now it is Ricketts’ turn to show his commitment to a new “Cub way,” and what better way to show that commitment than to change one of the most sacred and recognizable things in Cubs history: the bleachers.
Cub fans should be excited with this change to the ballpark. Hey, at least now when the person sitting next to you asks, “What did Soriano do last at-bat?” You can answer by simply looking toward Sheffield Avenue.