Wrigley Field is keeping the urinal troughs

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I’m going to Wrigley Field on Friday for the Pirates-Cubs game. Assuming that the upcoming renovation would spell their doom, I had planned to say goodbye to the Wrigley urinal troughs when I was there. For, whatever you may think of them, the ones in Wrigley are likely the last of their kind in Major League Baseball ballparks.

But wait! Via Bleed Cubbie Blue, we learn that they are to be saved!

“For the last several years, we have basically undertaken a number of focus groups and surveys among fans as we’ve looked to put together our plan to restore and improve the stadium,” Green said. “What we found is that our male fans have no problems with the communal nature of the troughs, cheek to cheek if you will. It’s part of enjoying the game.”

Focus groups: way worse than urinal troughs, generally speaking, but in this case the preservers of history. And culture. And whatever else you may call urinal troughs.

BCB’s Al Yellon provides the context as well as a recent photo of said troughs. You know, for science. I’m sure that was what Al told the security folks at Wrigley as he snapped the photo in the men’s room anyway.  And thank God for his work in this regard.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.