Wrigley Field's Humongous Scoreboard

If I could only draw one tenth as well as Tim Souers. I'd draw a Gi-normous Scoreboard in centerfield that shrouded the entire 44th ward in a shadow darker than a solar eclipse.

Holy Cow! The Scoreboard that Overshadowed the 44th Ward. I'm talkin' Godzilla's shadow over Tokyo.

This little Aldermanic war of words was in today's Sun-Times:

Alderman Tom Tunney (44th) has made a bold suggestion to the Cubs: replace the iconic landmarked center field scoreboard with a video scoreboard that would generate millions without blocking anybody’s view.

“Put it in center field. Make it as big as you want,”

Holy Mackerel. Mess with the landmark status scoreboard? Alderman Tunney, how soon you forget. You legislated so that should never happen (unless the gi-normous scoreboard is compatible with the historic character of the field).

Mor-on the zany alderman and his puffy chest lingo, after the jump...

More from the Sun-Times piece: Chicago-based sports marketing consultant Marc Ganis likened Tunney’s scoreboard demolition idea to...

“...ripping out the ivy and putting scoreboards on the outfield walls.” The “desperate ploy” is proof-positive of “where the alderman’s loyalties lie,” Ganis said.

“If the scoreboard is not important to Tunney or the Landmarks Commission, it should not have been landmarked in the first place. But, it is entirely inappropriate to trade something that’s landmarked to protect a private business that’s the largest contributor to a local politician."

Wrigley Field was landmarked by Chicago's city council in January 2004 but it's not every square inch of the ballpark that's landmarked. It turns out only the four exterior walls, the grandstands, bleachers, roofs, the marquee sign and the centerfield scoreboard, plus brick walls and ivy were in the decree. Some things can be changed by the Cubs without city approval. One that can not be changed by the Cubs is the scoreboard, contrary to what the Alderman suggested today.

Of course Alderman Tunney knows this, as he was a part of the city council back then. In  2004, the Cubs wanted to renovate the bleachers, a project eventually approved that expanded the bleachers to overhang the external walls of the ballpark over the sidewalks of Sheffield and Waveland avenues. The bleachers are landmarked. The city council approved the project (with naturally a few political concessions including remote parking with shuttle buses, supplemental trash pickup and access to Lakeshore Drive at Addison).

Sherman, set the WayBack to 2004...

"Alderman Tom Tunney, who represents the 44th Ward, said the landmark designation would neither permit nor prohibit bleacher expansion. Tunney said only the City Council can approve a bleacher expansion over the sidewalk behind the bleachers. The Landmarks Commission would have the authority to review any approved expansion to ensure the design is compatible with the historic character of the field."

These most recent Tom Tunney antics come in the face of a proposal by NW Suburban Rosemont's Mayor Brad Stephens to give 25 acres of land for the Cubs to develop a ballpark complex. The parcel at Balmoral and the the Tri-State Tollway. Rosemont is a train stop on the Blue line train that shuttles from downtown Chicago to O'Hare. One of the Rosemont perks includes a lower 3% amusement tax (Chicago just raised that tax to 9% plus a Cook county tax upping the total amusement tax to 12%). David Kaplan wrote about this with some interesting math as om $75-100 million in revenues not going to the Cubs.

• Revenue generated by the rooftop owners: $24 million – 17 percent = $4 million (The Cubs receive 17 percent of revenue)
• Signage restrictions: $20-30 million
• Amusement taxes paid in 2011: $17 million
• Addt'l. night games (Avg. in MLB is 57): $1 million addt'l. per game = $27 million
• Street Festivals and more concerts: (Could have naming rights if a consistent number is allowed each season) = $10 million estimate.

So the threat of Rosemont just might unseat the alderman. Rhetoric from Rosemont's Mayor Stephens:

“Rosemont is very pro-development and we have a long history of experience dealing with big business," Stephens said. "From my position, you have a wealthy family willing to pay all of the costs of a major renovation project, which will bring a tremendous number of jobs to the community.

“However, they are not getting cooperation from the neighborhood. Even if the Cubs get a deal done now, what will happen when they need something else a year or two years down the road? This will not be the last time the community or the alderman will be difficult to deal with. The Cubs will never have those kinds of problems if they move to Rosemont."

The Chicago solution should be simple. I remember that old Chicago slogan, the City that Works. Yes, we know how Chicago works. Tom Ricketts just needs to grease Alderman Tunney's palm with more $$ than the rooftoppers. If Tom Ricketts has budgeted $300 million for the renovations, then I'd say they just need to budget $18 million toward the Alderman's Swiss bank account based campaign fund every election year. Tom Ricketts can call it a wash after Alfonso Soriano's contract comes off the books. Finally,  the Mayor and City can take their cut from all those outfield electronic ad revenues.  Ah, Carl Sandberg would be proud. Chicago, once again City of Big Shoulders and Bigger Scoreboards.



Tom Tunney -- what a tool.

as an outsider (aka, someone that lives 1000s of miles away) this is all quite interesting.

you have a guy who wants to enjoy all the economic benefits of wrigley field, the "charm" and other name-dropping aspects it provides, the economic cash flow that spills over for many blocks...while at the same time wanting those people who come in droves to drive it all and make it worthwhile to spend money, be quiet about it, and then get the hell out so the neighborhood can enjoy their upscale city life.

it's like living in the middle of a trendy bar district, making money off the bars, enjoying telling others you live in that desirable district, but hating the fact the bars and their patrons exists even though it's what makes that area run. ...if only they'd come, drop off their money, be quiet the whole time, then leave in an orderly fashion.

also, this dude in particular seems to be in the rooftop owner's pockets.

WSCR's Mully and Hanley spending the morning rabble-rousing Tom Ricketts to make the trip out to Rosemont (on the Blue line train).

Let’s start with Stephens’ plan. The land, located at Balmoral and the Tri-State Tollway, does pose some enticing options for Cubs brass, starting with a 3 percent amusement tax. (The combined amusement taxes of Chicago and Cook County are 12 percent.) In addition to being located right by the Tollway, the land is located near the Rosemont Blue Line station so fans can take advantage of public transit to attend ballgames.


The proposed site is also really close to O'Hare.

Let the Shea Stadium comparisons begin.

Screw this guy, what a douche.

I also would love to see Cubby Blue's vision of this, I picture an opening for the rooftop to see while a "Blade Runner" like edifice surrounds the neighborhood.

On it but slammed...

cant wait

interesting parallel patterns in rehab from Tommy John surgery...Scott Baker vs Ryan Madson (Angels). Both had surgery in April 2012. Both are currently in shut down mode after initial progress.

Baseball prospectus take on Madson...

Of course, Scioscia’s revised timetable rested on a detour-free spring for the 32-year-old Madson, who, prior to undergoing Tommy John surgery in April 2012.... Alas, it was not to be.

Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register was the first to report on Tuesday morning that Madson had been shut down again, because of discomfort that flared up after a bullpen session that he threw last Thursday. Fletcher noted in his tweet that the “team has modified” Madson’s recovery timeline again, but details on the new target for the northpaw’s return were unavailable at that point.

Mike DiGiovanna, who covers the Angels for the Los Angeles Times, added that Madson is already well enough to play long-toss—a positive step, but also a reminder that he still needs to get back on a mound and work through a full strength-rebuilding program before he will be ready to pitch in games. Madson has thrown only two bullpen sessions since he reported to the Angels’ facility in Tempe, Arizona, in early February, and he has yet to complete one without requiring a hiatus immediately afterward.

The Angels’ investment in Madson was a relatively low-risk move, with bonuses tied to games finished and days spent on the active roster, so from a financial standpoint, his early-season absence is only a minor concern.


this is from yesterday but Phil Rogers updated Stewart and Baker's status in more detail.


Baker, who was hit hard in his first start on Sunday, almost one year after undergoing elbow reconstruction surgery, had some discomfort in the elbow that will sideline him indefinitely. Baker will see team physician Stephen Gryzlo this weekend for further evaluation.

Ian Stewart has been put on the DL. Stewart's quadriceps injury seems to be going beyond the normal medical expectations of a month of relative rest. But since the MRI is picking up on residual injury it's just a wait it out situation. It's not an issue that Stewart is dogging it IMHO, the wrist problem was real too and it took a superspecialist to figure that unusual diagnosis (dorsal wrist impingement) out. I don't think this quad injury is a diagnostic dilemma though. This can be a real lingering problem. It's really rare to do surgery on strained muscle because the tissue tends not to hold stitching well. So it's just a waiting game. He'll likely be ready by mid-May is my best guess.

Aramis Ramirez had multiple minor quad strains but I don't recall a prolonged DL stint beyond 2 weeks for him.

Alfonso Soriano had multiple quad injuries during previous seasons and 3-4 weeks was his usual DL time. I was at a game in 2007 when he pulled up lame from a significant right quad pull rounding 2nd base against the Mets (8-5-07) and he returned to action Aug 28th (3 weeks). In 2008 Soriano said that his quad hadn't returned to 100% even though he was playing. In April 2010, Soriano banged his left knee on the OF wall which indirectly affected his quadriceps and it made him gimpy most of that season too. It seemed to make him even more gun-shy of walls until he started working with OF coach Dave McKay last year. In 2011 Soriano hurt his left quad on May 30th vs Houston but returned from the DL on June 15th (2 weeks).

Article from 2010 that chronicles quite a bit of Soriano's leg woes...



“Devin is strictly a specialist right now,” Trestman told the Tribune.


appears Urlacher and Bears are done....

here's the link to Tribster Vaughn McClure's writeup on the Urlacher news:


could have been Thomas Jones or Plaxico Burress instead...


Meatheads are tearing at their clothes and wailing that salary cap stressed team is not signing an old slow broken down line backer. If Jordan can retire as a Wizard, this too will pass.

I'm ... disappointed and ... scratching my head a bit at the move. It's not that I think Urlacher is a great player anymore ... he isn't (he seems like he'd be a decent starter, though). It seems odd to take such a hard line approach if Urlacher's starting point was only 5.75 mil/year (the 2/11.5). If Urlacher is telling the truth that he was willing to play for 3 to 3.5 ... it seems hard to imagine that the Bears can find a better option when you factor the price in.

Now, you've lost two starting linebackers. Sure, LB's are somewhat easy to find, but it's still two starters you have to replace. You have to address the interior OL (at least 1 guy ... and nothing against Garza, but I would've rather saved money on Garza and kept Urlacher ... then again, haven't looked at Garza's contract so maybe it's not so cut and dry). You have to add at least one corner. You need depth at LB as well. Sure, it's not a ton of needs, but you are missing a 3rd and are limited cap wise.

no worries on losing Urlacher, these things need to happen...but curious how bad the defense is going to get now. My feeling was the Bears were going to go all in on offense now and forsake the D, and that's looking more and more likely...hopefully I'm wrong.

Regardless of his age and injuries, the defense was always better with him out there. if there was anyone that was the QB on defense, Urlacher was it..he was the equivelant of having Manning or Brady making adjustments at the line.

Sad day for Bears fans, but much like Kerry Wood's retirement, it probably needed to happen. That being said, you only have to look at Ray Lewis' declining skills, yet huge impact when he was on the field to wonder if the Bears were too quick to move on in this case.




I don't think the defense is actually going to be that bad. Peppers should still be good, and Melton looked like he had made legitimate strides. Add in young, athletic safeties and as long as the replacements at LB have range (I guess partially depends on what Tucker does) and ... aren't dumb (for lack of a better term), they should be able to build a solid defense. If McClellin develops, there's a lot to look forward to (I really do wonder about the rumors of Shea moving to LB, though ... a lot of folks thought he was better as a linebacker out of college, and with a spot open at SAM, I am curious).

Ray Lewis benefited from the 3-4. It's a bit easier to mask an aging LB's limitations in a 3-4 (not only Ray, but London Fletcher). Urlacher was slowing down, and in this scheme, a MIKE slowing down can be exposed. He's better off trying to find a 3-4 team to move to, IMO.

The thing is, I don't know if this NEEDED to happen now, or if it was going to happen, happen the way the Bears let it occur. As we both seem to agree, Urlacher was a decent option for the upcoming season, and maybe upcoming 2 years. The coaches seemed to agree with that general assessment as well. Sounds like at most Urlacher would've only gotten a 2 year deal. It would've given them time to get a youngster in, groom him at SAM, and move on from Urlacher in a year or two.

Or if the Bears were certain of this move, then they could've tried to bring back Roach, who didn't exactly break the bank, and move him to MIKE.

Just don't love

a) What happened
b) How things happened

But it happened, as it did with Kreutz (obviously not the same magnitude of talent), and we move on. Still ... a shame.

I didn't mind losing Urlacher, OR Roach....and the mediocre Geno Hayes.
But now you have to find a starting MLB, a starting strong-side linebacker, and a backup who can swing between the two. Are there that many decent LB's out there who will play for what Roach/Urlacher were offered?
If the plan is to try for the playoffs in 2013, it seems counterproductive.

I expect them to use one of their first two picks on a LB to start, add a veteran in FA (not sure who ... but someone) to start, and add a later round LB as the swing man/developmental guy. It'll make for a really raw LB group. If they can land an interior OL guy in FA, then my guess is that they'd try to go with a LB/CB combination at the top of the draft.

The problem I have with this is that he clearly can still play. At a Hall of Fame level? No. But still worth keeping. I understand they're up against the cap and all, but...

I wonder if someone like Peppers was even approached about deferring money (if possible, I have no idea) or if they just didn't want Urlacher around anymore.

Better to let him go a year too early than a year too late. While certainly some do, many evaluators don't think he can play at an acceptable level.

I think many evaluators massively underrate the effect MLBs have on the defense too and thus have underrated Urlacher. They give QBs all the credit for the offense and completely ignore the QB effect the MLB has on defense. Overall, I have been very happy with the play of Urlacher the past couple years and I think he would have played at an acceptable level this year, definitely $3 million dollars worth.

That said, I'm not actually opposed to getting rid of him this year, as much as it's sad to see him go. The MLB does have a real effect on the defense and since we're basically starting with another system and even if we kept Urlacher I would expect a major step back, it'd be good to have someone in who can take it over from day 1 and learn as they go.

The problem here is that everyone should have seen something like this coming years ago and they had no plan in place for who was going to take over, which obviously isn't a Trestman problem, but I really have no idea who they can get. That Florida kid looks like an undersized, slow, bad choice so I really hope they skip him.

This Urlacher choice had to happen either this year or next, but god some bad choices were made along the way. And of course, we desperately need offensive linemen, another receiver and another linebacker, so it's going to be interesting to see how in the world they pull all this off.

Bears would have to change whole system to hid Urlacher this year. Teams were going at him underneath last year because he can't move like he used to.He'll announce his retirement in about 30 days.

I'm going to be mildly surprised if he retires. He can still play ... he just can't fit for the old Lovie defense at a high level. He's still solid at reading and stuffing the run. I really think he could excel in a 3-4, particularly if there's a big NT to cover things up for him.

I doubt he'd go there, but Cleveland would be an intriguing fit for him. With massive bodies on the DL, solid edge options (although Kruger's overpaid), and D'Qwell is still rangy enough, Urlacher could be a nice fit inside there.

About the cap, there was a tweet that said they were down to $3M worth of room, but I think that was after signing Bennett and before cutting the TE's. Also, if they work out a deal with Melton they can reduce his number from $8.7M to something more team friendly. Of course, they still have a number of positions to fill out. Sounds overall like they didn't want Urlacher around anymore.

mets fans must be stoked for 2013...

"According to one Mets' official, Marlon Byrd is "99.9 percent certain" to win the starting right field job."

the guy i hoped the cubs would take a chance on in the rule 5...vidal nuno (NYY), lefty pitcher...is having a hell of a spring. he picked up a 5ip SP win today.

13ip 7h 1bb 13k...(0.68 era)

my rant about him seems to have been lost during the site move...or i can't search correctly.

i thought he'd be a great long-relief pen option with possible end-rotation upside...not flashy with the velocity, but not useless...good control.

Chone Figgins released by Marlins.
A once Good player who's skills fell off a cliff several years ago.

.308/.367 avg/ob%...8/26 (all singles)...3bb, 3k...1sb...6rbi somehow...

not bad, but evidently not good enough.

tommy hanson (LAA) pulled...looks like his shoulder. his career keeps getting more interesting.

"right triceps tightness"

well that was odd...

LAA pitcher matt oye comes in...for some reason with the middle fingernail of his pitching hand with white fingernail polish on it...

ump, tim mclellan, objects to the painted fingernail...delay while a trainer comes out to apply black sharpie marker to dude's fingernail.

Tom Tunney posts a statement on Facebook.


Moving the scoreboard to left field, where a similar one existed until the 1930’s, and replacing it with a video board it is just one of the many ideas that have been on the table. It was discussed in earnest by all parties and dismissed.

I found a pic of Wrigley/Wegman with a left field scoreboard on the grandstand side of the foul pole.


CCO hasa a different pic from 8-13-37, where a scoreboard smaller than the current CF version was over LF.


What a fucking idiot.

Can fans stand on the field like they did sometimes back then?

few know that Tom Tunney moonlights in sports stadium design and was heavily involved in Camden Yards, PNC Park, AT&T Park and the Fenway Park renovation.


Hello, strangers.

This is a completely cold-called, "want to join a fantasy league?" solicitation from an ex-TCR'er. 

In brief:  Head to Head, large number of stat. categories with a bit of a sabrmetric bent. Teams that go dead for a month will get redrafted. No assholes or even difficult personalities tolerated. Beyond that, it's a low-intensity but high-knowledge league for people who want a 2nd or 3rd or 4th-priority level league to play in, beyond their main league.    Yahoo League ID 62369 and password samfuld

Me:  Published my first book, it came out in December.  You can find it here.  Am one provost's signature away from finalizing an appointment to a tenure-track job, which is nice, since I've spent the last 10 months unemployed.  No promises that I'll return to hanging out at TCR, but I do miss everyone!

in case that link wasn't obvious


I'd be a little disappointed if one of the team names in your league isn't BEES!!!!



And yes, I go for the soft sell there.  Thanks for the more obvious sell, Rob G!

hola...and congrats on the book.


You get one sale off that link, you'll make more than you ever did off TCR. :)

You haven't seen the standard contract sheet offered by my publisher...

Great to hear from you again, Trans! I'll put in an order for your book at my University's library. I'll also flag it so I can read it first when it comes in. And good luck on nailing down that last provost's signature.

I have missed your game wrap ups. Not that the product on the field has really deserved it the last few years.

Also, AFAIK there's only two ex-TCRers, and you're not either one of them. I'm sure AZ Phil can chime in on which inactive or limited-duty roster TCR has you stashed on and how they can get you through internet waivers so you can post game summaries again. Might not be 'til June since they probably won't want to start your service clock.

Hah, yes, I trust AZ Phil to have a better understanding of my status in life, and at TCR, than myself.... very true..

Thanks Joe.  I miss doing them; it was just a matter of needing to prioritize trying to save my career. :(  stupid priorities.


And that's what I tell my former students:  don't BUY the book, ask your LIBRARY to, then STEAL it from the library, so they have to buy a second..

I'm such a good influence on my students...

Congrats Tranny. I hear books are harder to write than to read. I have no knowledge of either.

Pop in for a parachat now and again at least. Johann's mom will bring the bobos and Carlos will brink the donkey.

[edit] And shouldn't a "Philanthropic and Nonprofit Studies" book about the poor be less expensive? :)

Recent comments

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  • Good thing the Cubs have five left-handed batters in the lineup. Velasquez is just tearing thru the righties [edit - doesn't seem to faze Bryant!]

    Eric S 36 min 28 sec ago view
  • ben zobrist gets to ride up front tonight cause he's a good guy at sports.

    cubs with a 5 run lead and a lackey shutout through 3ip \m/

    crunch 1 hour 10 min ago view
  • HAGSAG: I have not seen Joe Nathan out on the field, but he is supposedly at the UAPC. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 6 min ago view
  • ERIC S: Best outing I've ever seen from Manny Rondon, and I've seen most of his outings since the Cubs got him from the Angels. 

    M. Rondon is competing with six others (Dylan Cease, Bryan Hudson, Jose Paulino, Pedro Silverio, Jesus Castillo, and Erling Moreno) for a starting slot at Eugene, and (as you can probably tell from the EXST box scores)  the competition has gotten fierce over the last couple of weeks, With the exception of Moreno, the Eugene SP candidates have upped their game lately, and M. Rondon's outing yesterday was especially impressive/dominating. 

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 9 min ago view
  • E-MAN: Pierce Johnsion was mixing a 92-94 MPH fastball with a plus-change-up AND curve, and he threw strike-after-strike-after-strike with all three of his pitches. I believe that was the best command and pitch-efficiency I've ever seen from Johnson, who often pitches from behind in the count and issues too many walks.  

    Of course now he has to avoid a recurrence of the lat strain (whch he has had previously in his career) as well as all of the other miscellaneous physical problems he's had over the last three years (hamstring, quad, back, etc).  

    Arizona Phil 4 hours 19 min ago view
  • PHIL: Any movement on P. Johnsons pitches? What was his "out" pitch? I know he was working on a 4th pitch, so wondering what he is looking like these days. Thanks.

    The E-Man 5 hours 1 min ago view
  • AZ Phil, has Nathan showed up in Mesa yet? Thanks.

    Hagsag 9 hours 47 min ago view
  • Eickhoff looks like a good young pitcher. Lets steal him!

    Hagsag 9 hours 48 min ago view
  • Manny Rondon faced 13 batters ... and got 10 to K. Not a bad day's work.

    Eric S 19 hours 29 min ago view
  • With several other Cubs hitters bailing out on curves today I think overall it wasn't being seen well. It for sure looked silly but a good breaking pitch coming at you and then breaking down isn't the easiest thing to see and has made many hitters look silly. Also Soler should have more walks this year but for quite a few called strikes that were actual balls and even the called strike he bailed on was borderline.

    johann 22 hours 27 min ago view
  • it's not like we're talking about a guy who's never had issues with pitch selection and seeing the ball over here. we're talking about a guy who has some rather legendary swing-and-misses at breaking stuff who's been exploited low. going forward it's worth paying attention to seeing if he can be exploited inside, too. he seriously bailed out of the box on a called strike. sure it was a good curve, but he obviously didn't see that well at all.

    crunch 22 hours 39 min ago view
  • It would seem like he is figuring it out now and it's really coming together. Really happy for him. Joe was really protecting him from the 3rd time through the order, but as you allude to, he is earning trust to go deeper.

    Wondering if has potential to become a #3 pitcher? His current stats certainly support it.

    The E-Man 22 hours 48 min ago view
  • That doesn't count b/c CRUNCH didn't see it on his 60" HDTV 5 times in replay.

    I have seen many players "bail out" when the ball looked like it was gonna hit them.

    Especially with the advent of the splitter and pitchers that can really get the ball to dance. Marmol, Sutter, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Derek Lowe, Smoltz, Arrietta...

    These guys have made the best bail out only for the ball to come over the plate and be called a strike.

    No shame in that. The same way players whiff hard enough to cause them to drill a hole in the ground from spinning.

    The E-Man 22 hours 53 min ago view
  • a 60" TV with slow-motion replay and multiple looks on that replay helps...a lot...

    it's one thing to shy away like he did the 2nd time, it's another to bail out of the box on a called strike. that happened in the 1st one he pulled away from. he misjudged that one by a foot or so...

    crunch 23 hours 12 min ago view
  • Good Hendricks sure is fun to watch. He was hitting all his corners today and the Phillies couldn't do anything with his changeup.

    johann 23 hours 48 min ago view
  • Bryant and I believe Zobrist both did that too.

    johann 1 day 5 min ago view