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Cubs To Improve Seventh-Inning Stretch, Music At Wrigley

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(CBS) Welcome to the new millennium, Wrigley Field. You’re only 13 years late.

The Cubs are going to unveil a number of game-day improvements this season in an effort to modernize the Wrigley Field experience, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

Among the changes is an improved seventh-inning stretch. Since Harry Caray died in 1998, guest conductors have visited the television booth during the bottom of the seventh inning with many of them having no connection to the Cubs and showing zero baseball knowledge. According to Cubs in-game programming director Jim Oboikowitch, that’s going to change this year.

“I think we definitely want to focus on former Cubs players, people that are Chicago natives, people who know baseball and who are Cubs fans,” he told the Tribune. “I do think we want to get ‘A-listers,’ so if there is that celebrity in a movie …  But we want them to understand what they’re coming to do — not just come into the booth and say, ‘My movie hits theaters tonight,’ or ‘My book is in stores.’

“They should know something about the Cubs. They should know the background of Harry Caray and what we are doing, and I think it will be a little more teaching them and exposing them. We do want the best guests, so we might come across that situation. But I think it’s all about preparing them so they’re not on with (broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies) and talking about stuff while a big home run is being hit in the bottom of the seventh.”

The report says that not every guest conductor will join the television broadcast during the seventh inning.

Other upgrades include updating the music inside the ballpark. While organist Gary Pressy will still be used, the amount of taped music will increase and it will be more modern than the typical 1980s music used.

“We’ll play what fans want to hear, though we won’t have ‘Call Me Maybe’ on the list,” Oboikowitch said.

Pregame advertising announcements will also be cut down and the team is exploring whether to play the same song at the start of every game, the report says.