Chicago Cubs Organization Becoming a Modern-Day Ballclub

Jason S. Parini@@JasonPariniBRCorrespondent IIFebruary 5, 2014

CHICAGO - JUNE 17: A recently installed sign for Toyota Motors appears over the left field wall at Wrigley Field during a game between the Chicago Cubs and the Oakland Athletics on June 17, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Athletics 3-2. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Though it may have been released a quarter of a century ago, Phil Alden Robinson's movie, Field of Dreams, still hits home for countless baseball fans.

Perhaps its the beautifully strewn poetry of James Earl Jones's monologue about the national pastime, or maybe it's the endearing relationships drawn between a man's childhood and the game.

Or for Chicago Cubs fans, it could be the subtle nods that the film pays to their beloved North Side ballclub.

Though the movie focused on the Chicago White Sox (or more specifically, the Black Sox scandal), those who bleed red, white and blue can't help but notice the subtle Cubs logo hanging from the visor in Ray Kinsella's hippie-style fan.

The Cubs were even mentioned directly in the movie.

Upon learning that all of the major league ballparks, including Wrigley Field, now had lights because the owners found that more people could attend night games, White Sox legend "Shoeless" Joe Jackson responded with a shake of his head and a disapproving, "Owners!"

Some Cubs fans may echo Jackson's feelings; some may not. But one thing is for sure: The owners are making some revolutionary changes to the franchise.

Much to the dismay of the surrounding rooftop owners, the Cubs recently filed a permit to place a 650-square foot sign in right field. Yes, it would block the view of the rooftop owners. No, the Cubs don't care that it invades on the free money that the rooftop owners make from the team.

Only 17 percent of the total revenue that the rooftop owners generate actually goes to the Cubs, and they certainly aren't very appreciative of the 83 percent that they make just for letting people into their house for the game.

Clearly they've never heard the phrase, "Never bite the hand that feeds you."

Many changes are coming to Wrigley Field besides the addition of the right field sign. In left field, the team plans to add a video board measuring 4,500 square feet, which brings more than just a video screen.

As Chicago Tribune Cubs reporter Paul Sullivan stated, the addition of the large video board will also bring about the end of the famous ball hawks, individuals who stand outside of the ballpark and await home run balls to land on the streets behind the outfield wall.

To the ball hawks themselves, it's a travesty. But for fans inside the ballpark, it means more souvenirs that will be staying among the bleacher creatures.

Don't forget about the mascot that the team recently introduced.

The Cubs announced their first mascot, Clark, in January. Though the mascot won't have any playing time on the field, he will be present in the stands. Cubs board member Laura Ricketts reiterated during January's Cubs Convention that the main purpose of the mascot is for the kids.

The mascot has received mixed reviews, including some inappropriate publicity (NSFW).

Besides making additions to the club, the Ricketts family is also making some cuts from the team.

The Chicago Tribune recently reported that the club was ending its relationship with WGN after the 2014 season. WGN is their television affiliate who currently televises up to 70 Cubs games per season.

Throughout the Cubs history, little has changed. Wrigley's renowned manual scoreboard and ivy remain in place and minimally changed. The team didn't even implement light towers until 1988.

CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 08:  Construction equipment sits near the left field wall from Waveland avenue at Wrigley Field on February 8, 2006 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

All of the moves that the Cubs make come down to one thing: money. The owners have already moved forward with plans to modernize the surrounding areas through commercialization, which is expected to bring in even more tourism and revenue.

It may be tough for a conservative Cubs fan to accept the changes to the classic team and ballpark, but clearly the formula that the team has used in the past isn't effective. Going 105 years without winning a World Series isn't a's an embarrassment.

The changes that the team are making are in the sake of money. The green of the ivy and scoreboard will remain while the addition of a few commercial items will bring in some monetary green.

Though the changes will be difficult to adjust to, one thing is certain: Wrigley Field will still be a baseball mecca, constantly filled with dedicated fans and classic baseball. The Boston Red Sox did it with Theo, so why can't the Cubs?

In a perfect world for Cubs fans, 2014 will bring a season of progress both on the field and to the field itself without many speed bumps.

Look on the bright least the Cubs don't play in Tropicana Field.