Monday, June 13, 2011
Hendry: Wrigley doesn't need total makeover
By Sahadev Sharma
With the Chicago Cubs floundering near the bottom of the NL Central standings, general manager Jim Hendry had enough on his plate trying to defend himself and his manager’s job status.
But he also found himself defending his team’s home ballpark after Peter Gammons of the MLB network went on a Chicago radio station this week and referred to Wrigley Field as “a dump”.
“I think where Peter was going with that is when ownership changed in Boston, they knew they had a lot of work to do [at Fenway Park],” Hendry said. “Probably even more than needs to be done [at Wrigley] now. I think a lot of it from where we come from is we know [Cubs’ owner] Tom Ricketts is going to take care of that.”
The Boston Red Sox recently completed a 10-year, $240-million improvement plan on Fenway Park. Hendry mentioned possible upgrades to the “underbelly” of Wrigley Field, including adding indoor batting cages, better strength and conditioning facilities, and expanding the home and visitor locker rooms.
“We love Wrigley Field. Nobody wants the field to be any different, the ambience. It’s a great atmosphere here,” Hendry said. “But I don’t think it’s any secret of the plans Tom and his family have to enlighten the facilities and make it better for fans but also make it better . . . and more productive for the players. I think that’s going to be taken care of in the next few years.”
The Cubs have done some work to Wrigley Field in the past decade, including adding 200 seats behind home plate after the 2003 season and adding nearly 1,800 seats in a complete renovation of the bleachers after the 2005 season. They also replaced the drainage system and installed a new bluegrass playing field after the 2007 season.