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Culture Change

by on June 1, 2015

From this week’s Ivy Drip Editorial. Get the whole issue here.

I guess it’s going to take a little longer than we all would like to change the atmosphere around the Cubs, at least based on what I’ve seen so far.

I attended my second game of the season on Friday, only to arrive at Wrigley to find it filled with Royals’ fans. But that’s fine, the Royals hadn’t been to the Northside in 14 years and if I were a fan of an American League team in another city I would of course make the trip. Hell, it wasn’t so long ago that any Royals fan would have never thought they’d get to watch their team in Wrigley.

Friday’s loss was a tough one, and one of the many games this year where it felt like the Cubs left one out there. We’ll see if that comes back to haunt them or not. And of course they boned it themselves, with Dexter Fowler misplaying an easy fly for the winning run. From there, Edwin Jackson threw one into right field, leading to a couple tack-on runs and there you go.

So of course, this always results in me checking my phone and seeing my Twitter feed littered with #Cubes hashtags, which I absolutely abhor. And in the park it was all Royals fans exalting in their team’s unbreakable will and the Cubs’ utter helplessness.

Wait a minute. Read that sentence again. Until last year, the Royals didn’t even come close to sniffing the playoffs for 29 years. It was futility unmatched by anyone, even the Cubs, who made five playoff appearances in that time. And if Bob Melvin didn’t go into brain-lock and trust his pen in the 8th inning, or if Geo Soto doesn’t get hurt in the 2nd inning, the Royals likely never make it out of the coin-flip game.

Yet after one season the Royals are now trained winners while the Cubs are forever stuck in the mud? Considering the Cubs had already racked up some comeback wins this season, I’m not sure they should ever be dismissed (and yesterday was a prime example, fashioning two runs off perhaps baseball’s best bullpen after trying Friday’s game against it as well).

I have always hated that whole Cubes thing. It’s fatalistic, cynical, woe-is-me crap and with the culture change going on within the organization, we outside of it should take our cues as well. The old Cubs’ ways are no more. I get that until they do, we will always be trained to look for them to fuck up. We’ve seen teams in all generations do it.

But this is the Cubs after a complete overhaul, an admittance that they had been doing it wrong before and are now doing it right. And Bryant, Russell, Rizzo, and Soler didn’t come up through a system that taught that. They only know what the Cubs are now, and we should act accordingly.

Hopefully the results on the field will wash this all away in no more than a few years and we’ll laugh about this. But we can hasten the process.

–As I hadn’t sat in the upper deck in years before Friday, my seats are in the 200s, it was my first look at the construction of the Triangle Building. That’s one big hole!

And I thought about those complaining that they’re ruining the look of Wrigley with all this when it’s done. But y’know, I don’t see how the work at Wrigley is any more extensive or altering than the work done at Lambeau Field in recent years. And I’ve never heard anyone complain that place has lost its unique feel.

The similarities are there. Wrigley and Lambeau are considered hallowed in their respective sports. They’re some of the oldest stadiums in the country. The fanbases are thought of as unique (though at least Cubs fans can read for the most part, and can get up a flight of stairs without an oxygen mask).

I haven’t been up there, but they’ve added a separate building/museum. They’ve tacked on more skyboxes and a whole new upper deck in one end. It’s no longer just the single bowl it used to be. And no one seems to care.

I’m sure when all the cranes and fences are gone and we see what we have here, no one will complain either. Because what was there before? An abandoned donut shop and a parking lot. A new building will certainly be easier on the eye.

As for seeing the bleachers filled, at least haflway, for the first time, they do look so much bigger than before. That stood out more than the video board ever did. But it makes Wrigley feel more enclosed, which I like.

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From → Musings

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