I’m going to miss seeing the Wrigley Field bullpens on the field. Beyond being able to instantly tell who’s warming up, it was interesting to watch the interactions of the pitchers and other people inhabiting the bullpen bench.
Plus, it was always fun to check out the antics of Cubs bullpen catcher Chad Noble, always wearing a hoodie no matter how hot the weather:
This article, though, isn’t about lamenting the move. This Tribune article notes how Cubs pitchers are making the adjustment.
Rather, I wanted to take a look at exactly how the walls were moved and how many seats were added, and where.
Here are two photos of the left-field wall area where the bullpen used to be. The first one was taken September 18, 2016. The second was taken during Sunday’s game:
You can see that the wall just beyond the dugout has been extended just about the distance between the former bullpen mound and former bullpen catcher’s area, or a bit more than 60 feet. The portion of the wall down the line that extends from the left-field wall has been pushed out much closer to the foul line. The new wall starts just about where the middle of the bullpen mound was.
All of that area is now filled with seats. This is, to my understanding, about 500 total additional seats. Obviously, the same change has been made on the right-field side. You can see that, though not as easily, on the left side of the photo above.
Beyond the moving of the pitchers off the field and addition of seats, you can see that there’s a significant change in the amount of foul territory. There are a fair number of baseballs that would have been playable in or near the bullpens last year that will land in the seats this year.
Also, the entire wall is now padded all the way to the edge of the dugout.
We’ll all have to get used to this — as will the players, who have somewhat less room to maneuver around the new walls.
Thanks to Mike Bojanowski who matched up the two photos for me.
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