Wrigley Field may be one of the most historic ballparks in North America, but Texas Rangers designated hitter Lance Berkman hardly cares for the nostalgia. The Rangers are beginning a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday, and Berkman has made it clear that he is not looking forward to the visit.
“If they’re looking for a guy to push the button when they blow the place up, I’ll do it,” Berkman said, via Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Tell us how you really feel, Lance. Actually, he did. It’s not just Wrigley Field, which was built in 1914, that Berkman hates. He also talked about the weather in Chicago and the challenge it creates when trying to prepare for a ballgame.
“Chicago’s one of the worst places in baseball … really for anything,” he added.
On Sunday night, the Cubs announced that they have reached an agreement with the city of Chicago to put Wrigley Field through a $500 million renovation. Berkman was likely happy to hear that, but no renovation can fix the weather in Chicago. Berkman’s teammate Derek Lowe, who has also played at Fenway Park, said he understands why players dislike Wrigley Field but that he appreciates the history.
“Current players are really going to hate it,” Lowe said. “Everything is new and state-of-the-art today, and you have everything you could possibly need within walking distance of the clubhouse.
“But you don’t have to be a baseball historian to appreciate atmospheres. I’ve played at Fenway, Wrigley and the old Yankee Stadium. I always thought of those atmospheres as the best, and it didn’t disappoint.”
Berkman is not a current player, but he clearly despises the place. Rangers catcher Geovany Soto, who used to play in Chicago, said Wrigley Field is a “landmark” and that the tradition makes dealing with fewer amenities more worthwhile. Clearly there are players who appreciate the brick wall and the ivy, but it sounds like Berkman should get together with Luke Scott and have a conversation about it. Something tells me they would agree about playing at Wrigley.
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