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ozzy seventh inning stretchSince Harry Caray passed away, the singing of the Seventh Inning Stretch at Wrigley Field has been something of an annual controversy. For the most part, the Cubs have filled that time with celebrities, “celebrities,” former players, and people of whom we can make fun. Sometimes it’s great. Sometimes it’s awful. Usually the latter is more entertaining than the former, which is probably a bad sign.

In theory, things are going to be changing.

“I think we definitely want to focus on former Cubs players, people that are Chicago natives, people who know baseball and who are Cubs fans,” in-game programming director Jim Oboikowitch told Paul Sullivan. “I do think we want to get ‘A-listers,’ so if there is that celebrity in a movie …. But we want them to understand what they’re coming to do — not just come into the booth and say, ‘My movie hits theaters tonight,’ or ‘My book is in stores.’

“They should know something about the Cubs. They should know the background of Harry Caray and what we are doing, and I think it will be a little more teaching them and exposing them. We do want the best guests, so we might come across that situation. But I think it’s all about preparing them so they’re not on with [broadcasters Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies] and talking about stuff while a big home run is being hit in the bottom of the seventh.”

The latter point is a fair one. The singing and the brief intros of the “celebrities” have never bothered me. But when they get on the air for a half inning and they sound like total bozos, that’s no good for anybody.

Let’s hope that the solution is better guests, rather than artificial preparation. Ultimately, I don’t really have a passionate opinion either way about the guest conductor thing, but I know some folks do. So, if you want to rail, have at it.

  • DarthHater

    Yea, I think it’s hard to overestimate the importance of making the seventh inning stretch a more serious event. :-P

  • kgd

    Mike Ditka singing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” faster than an auctioneer is still one of my favorite 7th inning stretch memories. Good times.

  • Spriggs

    Maybe they should also teach them the words to the song.

    Actually I like the tradition, but could do without most of the interviews during the game. Many get sort of uncomfortable. And we get enough advertising and marketing in our lives.

  • steve

    Bill Murray. 81 times a season. Problem solved.

    • Theo Epstein

      He has my vote

    • Jon

      Bill is great!

    • EQ76

      I think you gotta mix in some Vince Vaughn and Will Ferrell too though.

      • Jason

        Let Will Ferrell do the introductions of the starting lineups…

  • Jim

    Maybe Tony Campana can sing it for us…

    • DarthHater

      His vocal peripherals are comparable to those of the Three Tenors…

      • DocPeterWimsey

        Really? I’ve read that speed is his only singing dimension, too.

        • Cubbie Blues

          He would perform just as well as Lou Brock.

          • hansman1982

            I wouldn’t mind if they got Michael Buble, but would be just as happy with C-Dizzle.

        • DarthHater

          Only Alvin & the Chipmunks have ever sung faster…

    • Patrick W.

      If Campana was a singer he’d guaranteed have 150 hits a year.

      • Kev

        Zing!

  • 1060Ivy

    How dare they change the 7th inning stretch!

    This change could mean that movie stars like Christopher Mintz-Plasse might not return to insult Cub fans when Kick Ass 2 is released.

  • Carew

    Bill Murray, Bill Murray, Bill Murray. Oh and Eddie Vedder

    • Jp3

      How about J Belushi? I like the idea of bill Murray and Vince Vaughn too but Belushi has no other motive to sing the 7th inning stretch than just singing and talking cubs baseball… God knows he’s not pushing some 2nd rate garbage out (no offense to Vaughn I’m sure the Watch was great). I called to ask when that movie was playing when it 1st came out and the movie attendant said, “what time can you be here?”

  • Crazyhorse

    Really? I guess if bothers people, they can just do away with it all together. nit picking…..
    Sometimes the Cubs play so bad that it is refreshing to take a time out during game time and hear hear things what the guests have to say baseball wise or not.

  • Sully

    Does anyone know when single game tickets go on sale? I know, off topic but I haven’t heard a thing.

  • http://ehanauer.com clark addison

    The seventh inning interviews are awful. I’m there to watch the game, not to hear some C-list bozo pimp his latest project. Even when they’ve got somebody interesting, like a former Cub, they should do a small PIP, and keep the baseball action on the main screen.

  • http://www.justinjabs.com/blog/ justinjabs

    Friday, March 8th.

  • cubzforlife

    Jeff Garland and Bill Murray. Garland is more knowledgeable then most casual fans and is a funny guy. if you’ve heard him he knows players and games back to Ernie and Billy to the current roster. Prob reads this blog.

    • macpete22

      I remember running into Garland at Cubworld on opening day a few yrs back. Pretty awesome

  • True(ly) Blue

    Chicago Trib Cubs beat writer, Paul Sullivan, actually filed a story a story about the Cubs???

    Oh, it was about the 7th inning stretch. Par for Paul’s course.

  • Sully

    Thank you justinjabs.

  • Robert W

    I think they should have a random drawing for fans to do the 7th inning stretch. What a great bonus for buying a tickets. A chance to full fill a dream for many fans and it would definitely help with public relations. Notify the winning fan during the fourth inning and reserve the right to replace the fan if they are too intoxicated before the 7th inning.

    • Crazyhorse

      Wow that is awesome. I think some fans would like that experience. I am sure a code of conduct would be placed. I think it would be nice gesture to most random Cub fan.

  • MightyBear

    Hey Doc

    Here’s an article about SB success rates. We were discussing SB’s yesterday and I thought you might find it interesting. I thought it was.

    http://www.beyondtheboxscore.com/2013/2/20/3980504/individual-stolen-base-break-even-rates

    • hansman1982

      Thank you for posting that. Goes to show that his “speedy guys should bat 8th” theory is very valid. Had the Cubs signed Bourn this offseason you’d want your lineup to have DeJesus leading off with Bourn batting 8th.

  • mr. mac

    My biggest issue with the guest conductors is the people who are obvious fans of the opponents. i.e. Bob Uecker. Who wants a Brewers fan singing the stretch? I’d much rather have Erik Estrada being weird in the booth with Len and Bob than have Tony LaRussa (just an example) or someone else like that singing and cheering for a team that isn’t the Cubs.

  • Vince

    Just play a Harry Carry recording and leave it at that, period.

  • cubsin

    It would help if they’d limit it to people who (a) know the lyrics and (b) have some singing ability. It would help even more if they could eliminate or greatly reduce the radio and TV interviews of the guest singers, or move them to the earlier innings while the opposing team bats.

  • Rich

    I’m with Vince..play a Harry recording…and maybe guest conduction only on night games or weekends…or something..

    I hate the guest conduction….so lame..

  • Crazyhorse

    No need to complicate things – This is why things fail. I can hear it now YOu have been randomly selected to sing During the……. but first YOu must sing to Cubsin and he must be pleased with your singing ability. thanks for letting the air out the tire dude.

  • Chef

    I want Hologram Harry Caray and recording for every single game.

  • fromthemitten

    BRING BACK STEVE MCMICHAEL NEXT TIME ANGEL HERNANDEZ IS BEHIND THE PLATE

  • Jason

    Have they ever played a Harry Caray recording for the 7th inning strecth??? I think that would be awesome to do every opening day. I’d definitely get tickets to be in the stadium if that happened.

    • King Jeff

      Maybe they could have Hologram Harry do the stretch? If it works for 2pac it could work for Harry!

    • Tommy

      They did play a recording of Harry shortly after he died. It was morbid and weird, and did not receive a welcome response. It was a bit creepy and not something I’d want them to do again, personally.

  • Die hard

    His former sidekick retired today – Joe Gregarious age87

  • coal

    Shameless plug for my daughter …. who sang this gem when she was all of 3. She’s approaching 9 (yikes). They grow up fast.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAbeLLib71E

    • Internet Random

      That was awesome. I’m inspired to go wake up my three-year-old daughter to make her learn this, but I guess it can wait till tomorrow.

    • MichiganGoat

      Coal that is excellent I have my daughter (4) and son (6 months) practice the stretch everyday (with the correct “Cubbies” and “lets get some runs” of course) and then sing Go Cubs Go before bed each night. They love it.

  • David Johnson

    They should pick a person that is always at games and is not a star. Somebody that is there and makes you feel like a Fan should.
    There is this little Girl Named Natalie over in the section next to us (section 527) that when the cubs are down she motivates us and starts the most amazing chants and shows us what Cubs fan’s should be.
    Please put her up there, she is what I call a die hard Cubs fan.
    I now follow her on twitter @SuperFanNatalie,
    She is known by everyoine up there, especially the staff and even Tom Rickets calls her by her first name.
    We were not going to renew this year but because of this 11 year old we are going to be there next year.
    If you get a chance stop by section 527 and ask for Natalie,

    Go Cubs

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