A Side Benefit of the New LED Scoreboard at Wrigley Field

Photo by ESPN's Doug Padilla

When the Chicago Cubs announced at the Cubs Convention that they would be adding, together with a patio section in right field, a 75-foot LED sign board, there were a surprising number of gnashed teeth. Now that the sign is in place, and it seamlessly blends into the right field well, few folks are complaining anymore.

Well, few folks associated with the Cubs, that is. From the Tribune:

But now opposing teams are complaining the LED board can get so bright during night games it makes it difficult to warm up their relievers.

“Warming up the pitcher in the bullpen, that new scoreboard they have, the numbers are white, and the ball is coming out of there, so it’s really difficult to see,” Cardinals bullpen catcher Jamie Pogue said Tuesday. “It doesn’t make it a whole lot of fun for us back there trying to catch those guys.

“But it will be in (the Cubs’) hands, whether they want to try to fix it to help the opposing guys out or not. I had heard the other teams that have been here complained about the same thing.”

The Brewers voiced similar complaints during the two night games on the first homestand at Wrigley. A Cubs spokesman said they are aware of the Brewers’ complaints but said the LED board “is not an issue.” One of the problems was a white background for ads of one of the Cubs’ sponsors. The spokesman said the background color has been changed on those ads.

To be sure, I doubt anyone is interested in putting the opposing teams’ bullpen catchers in danger of taking a slider off the neck. But if the board makes it ever so slightly less easy for relievers to get warmed up? I certainly am not going to grouse about it. It’d be nice for the Cubs to have a little extra home-field advantage.

Apparently the Cubs have already tweaked the display on the board in a variety of ways to address this issue, but it’s possible that the board will remain a distraction, even after safety-related concerns are addressed.

And, hey, if the Cubs are ever playing a particularly meaningful September game at Wrigley, maybe the board brightens up just a bit.

Brett Taylor is the editor and lead writer at Bleacher Nation, and can also be found as Bleacher Nation on Twitter and on Facebook.

33 responses to “A Side Benefit of the New LED Scoreboard at Wrigley Field”

  1. Luke

    I bet St. Louis fans are going to start insisting that the Cardinals lost at Wrigley twice because the umpires were too dazzled by the brightness to call the game correctly.

  2. cccubfan

    The Cards have a complaint about something everywhere they go, if they lose. If they had came to Wrigley and swept the Cubs that board would never have been mentioned. Didn’t they have an issue in Milwaukee about something last year? Can’t remember what…

    1. Chris S

      Yep.. LaRussa was bitching that the lights got brighter when the visiting team was up and dimmer when the Brewers were up…

      1. Ogyu

        Never was a case of shingles so well deserved as for that guy…

      2. ty

        Well remember LaRussa when he managed the White Sox. Terrible roster but he was a train wreck himself. Third base coach was Jim Leyland. Who would have guessed?

      3. cccubfan

        Yep – that’s it…Now I remember…and let’s not forget the ’87 World Series when they said the Twins were turning on the fans when they were up to help the hitters hit home runs…I see a pattern here, how ’bout y’all…..LOL

        1. JustSwain

          That one was actually confirmed by the Twins ground crews. They admitted to turning the fans off for the opposing players, and on for their own, and it probably did yield an advantage. They didn’t admit it until the final season in the dome, but they finally did come clean.

  3. Spencer

    They should switch the visiting bullpen mound next year so pitchers are throwing toward the outfield.

    1. Cubbie Blues

      I’m not sure that they would want to put the pitcher’s back to the action in fear of getting hit. Wait a minute that is the visiting teams bullpen. On a second thought I think you have a great idea.

    2. 1060Ivy

      That way an errant foul ball could hit a relief pitcher rather than an scrub, bullpen catcher.

      Both the Cubs and opposing squads already place another scrub, bullpen assistant to watch for foul balls which might the bullpen catcher but I doubt that opposition would take on the slightly higher risk to a player to compensate for the slight risk of being blinded by the lights of the LED screen.

  4. Deer

    They need to find a fix for that right away. Nothing funny about a bullpen catcher struggling to see a 95MPH fastball or an offspeed pitch coming at him with no protection other than a mask. I’m sure it will get fixed though, especially since another board will be in LF next season.

    1. Spencer

      I don’t think the guys warming up throw 95 in the bullpen.

      1. 1060Ivy

        Not all but many bullpen guys attempt to air it out before going out to the mound for warm ups. The pitches aren’t necessarily accurate but they do put some heat behind them. The guy who comes to mind is Marmol. You can hear his throws popping the warm catcher’s mit from a few sections away.

        1. SirCub

          Farnsworth was the same way.

    2. hansman1982

      Did I miss something?

      “I’m sure it will get fixed though, especially since another board will be in LF next season.”

      I am sure it was a simple oversight that the board is blinding the catchers and pure coincidence that they decided to put the board in RF.

  5. Serious Cubs Fan

    I’m sorry. I don’t mean to be rude but can we get some real news?

    1. Edwin

      Define real news.

      *Update: I get what you mean though. It’s like I’m a Cubs News junkie, and Brett is my dealer.

    2. Spencer

      Believe it or not, not every day is going to be bursting with exciting news stories about how the Cubs are talking about acquiring Matt Kemp for a PTBNL. you could always, I dunno, use Google or something.

    3. Ogyu

      *Real, Serious, Cubs News Headline*: Himalayan Sherpas Report Sighting of Jorge Soler

    4. Andrewmoore4isu

      How much is your subscription to Bleachernation.com?

      1. Rick Vaughn

        If the price is too steep, he could always just ask mom for a larger allowance.

        1. Serious Cubs Fan

          No worries man, I could afford it. Your girlfriend still owes me from last night

          1. Cubbie Blues

            Really? I think we can be better than that on BN. We don’t need to act like we are cards fans. I

    5. Mrp

      Why so serious? No need to be a d-bag.

      1. Serious Cubs Fan

        not being a d-bag just be honest Mrp. chill out man

    6. Richard Nose

      And I want a girlfriend that doesn’t talk and likes sex more than I do. What a clown.

      1. ferrets_bueller

        I’ve had one like that, it sucks ;)

        But it actually does, at least for me. I’m a guy who values intelligence and humor extremely highly, and that relationship made me want to off myself whenever there wasnt sex occurring hahaha.

  6. Rick Vaughn

    *BREAKING NEWS*

    Obnoxious 14 year old kid skips school to complain about not getting “real news” on a baseball fan’s website. Stay tuned for more…

    1. Cooper Rushing

      Haha Wild Thing you make my heart sing

    2. ferrets_bueller

      we need some…………………………..betternews!

      1. Rick Vaughn

        Heard that!

    3. Serious Cubs Fan

      *BREAKING NEWS* Rick Vaughn moves out of his moms basement!

  7. rcleven

    Give the bull pen catcher a pair of polarized sunglasses. Problem solved. You can send the check to…………