Opening night at Wrigley Field: half hour bathroom lines and dudes peeing in corners


source: AP

Bill and I both linked to stories about this earlier, but the more I’ve read about it, the more it sounds like an actual big deal as opposed to a mere Opening Night hiccup. I’m talking about the Wrigley Field bathroom disaster.

My first thought when I heard about this was “welcome to what women face at ballparks, dudes” because women’s bathroom lines are always bad, but this does not seem to be a mere issue of men finally being inconvenienced like women always are. This was something a bit more extreme:

Deadspin’s take here. Jeff Passan, who was at the game, reports on the problems here. UPDATE: Deadspin now has more pics and emails from people who were at the game, making the problems seem even worse than first reported.

UPDATE: The Cubs have given a full statement in response to this mess. The earlier statement we reproduced in this post came from a news source which, for whatever reason, only ran part of the team statement and excised the apology. Here’s the full statement:

Opening Day at Wrigley Field has always brought challenges with wait times and tonight was particularly extreme.  Two bathrooms in the upper deck went down temporarily forcing fans downstairs where we already were experiencing issues with long wait times.  With 35,000 fans showing up in the ballpark tonight, we were simply not prepared to handle guests during peak periods.  We have high standards for service and we missed the mark tonight.

We want to apologize to our fans for the inconvenience tonight.  Moving forward we plan to supplement the existing restrooms with additional portable units and will continue to monitor wait times.

Good on them for apologizing, but it’s hard to see how a couple of malfunctions could lead to such a large problem. Maybe excessive daytime pregaming on the part of baseball fans led to, um, a greater overall urge. But ballparks have a finite capacity — Wrigley Field’s being even smaller than usual due to the lack of bleachers during the renovation — and the Cubs knew they’d have a full house. Even the most rowdy, drunk and amateur hour of dude-bro baseball fans would prefer to pee in a bathroom, not a beer cup out on the concourse, and the fact that they couldn’t suggests an issue with the facilities.

And at least one HBT reader says that this was not some unusually crazy-drunk crowd:

I’m less interested in the apologies here than a breakdown of what has happened to the bathrooms in the course of the renovation. Specifically if the fan-to-toilet ratio has gotten “particularly extreme” while the work is being done. I’m not even joking when I say that, maybe, this is all the result of a trough deficit. You know, those ugly old communal urinals from days of yore?


Wrigley Field was, I think, the last ballpark to feature them. I wonder if they’ve lost some in the renovation and with them some efficiency. I’d go on about how perhaps this dark cloud could, perhaps, have a golden lining in that it could lead to the glorious return of the men’s room trough, but I feel like doing so would be to oversell the point.

In any event, it wouldn’t shock me if there were porta-potties at Wrigley for Game 2.

Mets cut catcher Tomás Nido, reinstate Omar Narváez from 60-day IL

Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK (AP) Needing to make a difficult decision at catcher, the New York Mets cut light-hitting Tomás Nido on Monday when they reinstated fellow backstop Omar Narváez from the 60-day injured list.

Nido was designated for assignment in a move that keeps catcher Francisco Álvarez in the majors. The 21-year-old rookie flourished in May and ascended to first string, taking advantage of consistent playing time while Narváez and Nido were on the IL.

Nido was activated May 25 but has made only two starts since, going 1 for 5 with two strikeouts. He was a Gold Glove finalist last season and is signed through 2024 after essentially taking over the starting job from a slumping James McCann last year by the time the Mets entered the playoffs.

This season, however, Nido is batting a paltry .125 (7 for 56) without an extra-base hit.

New York has seven days to trade or release him. The 29-year-old Nido could also be claimed by another team – or accept an outright assignment to the minors with the Mets if he clears waivers.

With the 31-year-old Narváez ready to return from a strained left calf, New York could have optioned Álvarez back to Triple-A Syracuse and kept all three catchers on the 40-man roster. More likely, there was thought the Mets might carry them all in the big leagues and give at-bats to Álvarez at designated hitter. That would have cut into playing time for several veterans, however, along with fellow youngster Mark Vientos.

Complicating the situation a bit, it’s a little unclear right now what Nido is capable of providing offensively. He’s never been a dangerous hitter, compiling a .213 batting average and .557 OPS primarily in backup duty over 274 games in seven major league seasons. But he was on the injured list from May 7-24 with dry eye syndrome that apparently affected his vision, possibly explaining – at least in part – his dreadful start at the plate this season.

He had plugs placed in both eyes that help them remain lubricated and improve his sight. Nido is a right-handed hitter like Álvarez, though. Narváez, an All-Star in 2021 with Milwaukee, bats left-handed, making him a more natural complement.

One of baseball’s top-rated prospects when he began the year in the minors, Álvarez was expected to gain more seasoning at Triple-A while Narváez and Nido shared playing time in the big leagues.

But then Álvarez was quickly called up in early April when Narváez strained his left calf during the second series of the season in Milwaukee.

Álvarez got off to a slow start, then took off in May – batting .292 with seven homers, 17 RBIs and a 1.029 OPS, including several clutch swings late in games. He is hitless in his past 16 at-bats, but Álvarez’s raw power is an element sorely needed by the scuffling Mets as they attempt to generate more runs.

His defense was said to be a work in progress when he arrived, but Álvarez has impressed behind the plate, too, earning praise from coaches and veteran pitchers – particularly three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer – for his instincts and work ethic.

Nido signed a $3.7 million, two-year contract in the offseason. Narváez was signed to a $15 million, two-year deal as a free agent in December.

Despite a record $355 million payroll, the Mets are off to a disappointing 30-30 start. They were off Monday before opening a three-game series Tuesday night in Atlanta. New York is third in the NL East, 5 1/2 games behind the first-place Braves.