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.