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Orginally published on my blog BlueCarp
The Rocky Mountain News' Bernie Lincicome once again demonstrates he is a Renaissance Man. Unfortunately, the Renaissance took place during the 15 th century and Bernie writes right now.
In his Friday, February 29 column, Bernie laments the possibility that the Chicago Cubs might sell the naming the rights to Wrigley Field.
Bernie thinks “the name evokes a gentle warmth and a sense of connection, to another time, to a vanished innocence, to a simpler age.”
Vanished innocence? Simpler age?
The innocence of an age where racism and segregation ruled the big leagues? The innocence of an age where Cubs fans and other Chicago residents worked in the meat packing industry described by Upton Sinclair in “The Jungle?” The innocence of an age where dead people voted and political machines made democracy a joke? The innocence of an age where Al Capone and other gangsters shot each other down in the streets while cops and judges looked the other way?
Bernie is delusional. There never was any innocence to vanish, and if the age were simpler, it was simpler in the wrong ways.
His nonsense continues when he writes that “beyond the money, beyond the profit is the simple violation of affection, the detached indifference to loyalty and devotion, the disregard for Cub fans’ perpetual forgiveness.” If naming rights help the Cubs sign a dominant pitcher and win the World Series, Cubs’ fans’ affection, loyalty and devotion will be rewarded and there will be no reason for forgiveness.
Bernie misremembers history when he glamorizes Tinkers to Evers to Chance and claims that Babe Ruth called his shot in Wrigley. Tinkers, Evers and Chance are remembered because of a poem, not because they were great players. Ruth’s “Called Shot” is as real as Paul Bunyan and his Big Blue Ox: Legendary, but fictional.
Come to think of it, Bernie’s column is fictional, too.
Besides, Wrigley is a gum company. The Cubs have been giving the naming rights AWAY for decades. Finally getting paid to do the same thing just makes sense.