In the Cubs' 4-1 victory over the Padres this afternoon, Cub starter Ted Lilly retired twice as many San Diego hitters on pop-ups and fly balls (14) as he did on ground balls (7). From my seat along the third-base line, it looked like Lilly benefited at least three times in the early innings from a wind off the lake that stopped long fly balls before they could land in the bleachers. But then, that same wind wasn't mighty enough to prevent Mike Fontenot's sixth-inning, two-run homer off David Wells, nor Alfonso Soriano's blast onto Waveland Avenue just a couple hitters later.

As for the two incidents of apparent fan interference the sports radio guys are now analyzing to death, there's no great mystery in it to me:

Many if not most of the fans who populate Wrigley's bleachers are intoxicated and/or not terribly interested in the game. That, coupled with the design of the bleachers--specifically the ease with which one can dip a hand or a baseball gloves in front of the wire home run basket--is a recipe for what happened today. Twice.

According to the Tribune, the second offender, who foiled Cliff Floyd's attempt to catch Adrian Gonzalez's long drive to right in the Padre sixth, was escorted from the park. That's a start.

If the Cubs will continue to punish any "fan" who feels the need to insert himself into a game, I think it will ultimately have more of a dampening effect on the behavior than any architectural modification the Cubs could possibly come up with.


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