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It's A Beautiful Day For Baseball!

As I write this the little digital thermometer which reads the temperature outside my window (and which, for $10, is pretty darn accurate) says it's 58.5 degrees, which is warmer than about 99% of Opening Days here in Chicago... and it's not raining at this moment and the snow is melting, so let's play ball!

Before the Cubs do that, though, they must get their house in order, and I'm not talking merely about the roster moves that I am confident Jim Hendry will still make, but also the necessary repairs to Wrigley Field itself, which will follow after the report the Cubs made to the city yesterday, detailing the fact that the concrete at the ballpark, which is aging, is not now in danger of falling down, but there is still the possibility that pieces of concrete could break off, as they did last summer.

What is likely to happen, according to the above article, is that better-fitting nets or screens, unlike the temporary nets put up in haste last summer, will have to be placed underneath the upper deck to protect people in the terrace reserved sections of the lower deck. Eventually, the Cubs will go about a program of replacing the ramps and other places where concrete has shown its age.

And, I believe, only then will the Cubs get approval from the city for their ambitious bleacher expansion and other plans for expanding the ballpark to the west.

Having driven by the ballpark several times this winter, I can tell you that there are barriers up on the Addison Street side which block the view from the street of whatever work is going on there. But there clearly is work going on, and I know the Cubs do this every winter. As I have written before, Wrigley Field is probably in as good or better shape than any ninety-year-old building in the city.

And knowing that a good part of the value and attraction of the franchise resides in the ballpark itself, I know the Cubs and Tribune Co. will do whatever they must, in order to keep Wrigley Field a viable baseball park for many years to come.

UPDATE: I drove by the ballpark again this afternoon and last year's nets are now down. There is scaffolding in the LF corner. So, clearly, work is going on, and just as last year, they may work all the way till Opening Day finishing it up.

Oh, and it's 60 degrees outside my window right now. It won't be this warm for a night game in 2005 probably till June.