[Lou Piniella, George Will, Henry Paulson: chief architects of my weakass ’09]
So, I saw “Up in the Air” Friday night. It’s a well-made movie, great in parts, except that I could care less about its hatchet man hero (George Clooney) who fires people for a living and how much the filmmakers want me to like him. Then I noticed that his even colder bastard of a boss who runs the hatchet man agency (Jason Bateman) has a Cubs pennant on his office wall. So, a light comedy for the rest of us, but cinema verite for the South Side. What other nation on Earth, while heaping billions on bankers to save themselves, and attacking a black President who wants public option healthcare as a Nazi, would sell you a movie about a hatchet man as its Christmas season hero? I believe this is the first Xmas movie where Scrooge gets laid.
Still, that brings us to the North Side. The Ricketts Family has announced their new regime with the kind of news Cubs fans love: no Jumbotron at Wrigley. Actually, they didn’t announce it. This is one of those Paul Sullivan Trib stories that Sully basically makes up. That is, no one was talking about a Jumbotron. There’s nowhere in Wrigley to put it. And legally, they can’t take down the landmarked Civil War scoreboard they have. So, Sullivan nails down a story that never was, but hard. For Cub purists, who don’t like Jumbotrons, indoor plumbing, and still enjoy the sounds of 1908 racists in the bleachers, your bubble is safe and sound for now. Crane Kenney, the Cubs chairman who sent a Greek Orothodox priest down to the dugout to exorcise the goat curse, is quoted by Sullivan on The Tradition:
But team president Crane Kenney said he’s never heard chairman Tom Ricketts broach the subject of a Jumbotron.
“I don’t know where we would (place) one,” he said. “Certainly you’re not going to touch the scoreboard we have, except for the re-facing (of the back).”
If you can’t go big, go small. Kenney said the Cubs are looking at the possibility of installing an intranet at Wrigley for fans carrying iPhones and other smartphones, giving them access to stats and instant replays. He said San Francisco and San Diego are among the organizations with technology giving fans at the ballparks access to game information on handheld devices.
The historic centerfield scoreboard has no room for video replay, and is landmarked anyways and can’t be touched.
“We know there is a little bit of an information desert at Wrigley that doesn’t exist anywhere elsewhere, and we are going to tackle it in other ways,” he said. “But I don’t know if we’ll do a Jumbotron.”