Cubs to Unveil Team HOF, Plaque to Honor Ricketts Family at Wrigley Field Rededication Event Thursday

Wrigleyville has been rolled over by an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But even as the Cubs have wavered between 100-loss seasons and a World Series title, the one constant has been bad PR. Whether they don’t care or are simply so tone-deaf they can’t hear their own brown notes, the Cubs just can’t seem to stop stepping in it.

According to The Athletic’s Jon Greenberg, the team has created a documentary about the 1060 Project that resulted in extension additions and renovations to Wrigley Field. I wonder if it’ll feature interviews with Carl Rice, the former executive who oversaw the massive project before being let go as part of sweeping cuts last year. The video will premiere on the Cubs’ YouTube channel this Thursday following a rededication of Wrigley.

Greenberg tweeted that the event will feature a presentation of two plaques, one “to commemorate Wrigley Field’s official designation as a National Historic Landmark” and the other “to commemorate the Ricketts family’s commitment to preserving Wrigley Field.” Sounds like rather than paying for a brass section to provide fanfare, Tom Ricketts will save money by tooting his own horn.

Regardless of how you feel about the changes to the venerable ballpark and the surrounding area, you have to admit that the timing and self-congratulatory nature of those announcements presents terrible optics. I mean, they just unveiled plans for a massive sportsbook at the corner of Addison and Sheffield, and now they’re patting themselves on the back for “preserving” Wrigley?

To be fair, I suppose it’s entirely possible that Zachary Taylor Davis’s original blueprints included massive videoboards, expensive luxury suites, and a two-story sportsbook.

You don’t need me to recount for you the numerous PR missteps that preceded this one, nor do I need to get into the details on how last year’s national landmark designation saves ownership millions in tax breaks that won’t go back into the baseball budget. I don’t have to explain to you how bad it looks that they’ve got money to build a casino but not to extend star players or acquire new ones, so I won’t.

Nor will I mention the Charles Lindbergh mural or the Ron Santo memorabilia or the dumpster cake or the battles with rooftop owners or the reports of bullying journalists or anything else from the past decade. And since I’m not mentioning any of those things, I won’t have to further explain the part in the lede about the Cubs either not caring about or not understanding how things look to anyone outside the C-suite.

So rather than continuing to point out all the many, many things this organization seems to get wrong almost willfully, I’ll conclude with something from Greenberg’s reporting that seems like a very good choice. He tweeted that he’ll be writing up more soon, but the Cubs are going to unveil a team Hall of Fame as part of the rededication. That’s actually very cool and should be a destination for fans provided it’s done well.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to see what it costs to get a plaque commemorating my efforts in preserving this web log.

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