An 11-year-old Chicago Cubs fan whose family has season tickets at Wrigley Field has been told she needs to stop getting so excited at games because it's "annoying" and possibly dangerous.
Yes, that's what'll fix the Cubs experience. Less enthusiasm.
Natalie Adorno seems to be a popular figure at Wrigley, particularly where she and her father, Carlos Adorno, sit in Section 527, which is along the first-base line in the upper deck. Fans know her, ushers know her. Cubs owner Tom Ricketts even knows her by name.
Natalie's schtick: To "get the crowd going," she says, when they're quiet. Sometimes, she'll lead sections of fans in chanting, "Let's go, Cubbies!" her father says. And in the seventh and eighth innings, if the Cubs are losing — insert joke here — she'll get out of her seat in order to "rev up" the fans so they can try and help rally the team.
Only, Natalie's behavior isn't universally appreciated or accepted. Another fan, on Twitter, complained to Natalie. From NBC 5 in Chicago:
Carlos Adorno said the beef started a couple weeks after the season when the fan tweeted at Natalie from the account @coach511: "Not all of us fans appreciate your constant yelling at the games. Please stop, it's annoying."
The tweets, which began on Oct. 9, have since been deleted, and NBC 5 was unable to verify the identity of the owner of the account.
"He doesn't like me cheering, and it made me feel bad because I felt like I did something wrong," Natalie said.
As if Natalie cheering the Cubs is any more obnoxious than the team not winning a World Series since 1908. But, as a photo of a sign in her Twitter timeline notes, "It's not about the wins, it's about the memories." Well, thank goodness for that.
And yet, a season ticket holder (it could be the same person or group who complained on Twitter), complained to the Cubs. And though Natalie says she doesn't blame them, the Cubs politely told her to modify her behavior for safety reasons:
“After learning of an issue between Season Ticket Holders in nearby seating areas, our team spoke with both parties to help reach a resolution," the Cubs said in a statement. "Our fans enjoy baseball at Wrigley Field and it’s important we provide an environment where all of our guests can enjoy their experience at the game.”
Still the situation upset Carlos enough to consider not renewing his season tickets.
That would be a shame, though it seems that everyone technically is within their rights here. Natalie is right to cheer, the Cubs are right to ask to keep the aisle clear, and the complaining curmudgeonly fans, too, are within their rights. If they want to sit there in silence at a baseball game, like it's a wake, which it often is, and give the Cubs their money year after year with no reward, and tell excited fans to quiet down, or sit down or get out of the way, it's their right.
But when Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer came along, one of their missions was to change the culture inside the clubhouse and throughout the organization. They won't be the "same old Cubs" anymore, we were told. Yes, that's what we heard when Andy MacPhail took over, and when Dallas Green took over too. Cubs fans have heard it all before. Which probably is why these complainers would prefer if everyone just sat there like a lump at Wrigley, in the same kind of funk or stupor they're obviously in. Why should other people get excited when they can't? What's to get excited about, anyway? What, are we at a baseball game, or something?
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