KABOOM! The Wrigley Field DJ Really Thought This Would Be OK! (And The Cubs Get A Jumbo…)


Talk about malfunctioning ethics alarms! This story made my head explode, once I confirmed that it was not a hoax, as I desperately hoped. It apparently made the heads of a lot of Cubs fans and Cubs executive blow craniums too.

If you don’t follow baseball closely, and by the way, what’s the matter with you?, you probably don’t know two crucial facts about the Chicago Cubs closer (that’s the pitcher who comes in to pitch the ninth when his team is ahead in a close game) Aroldis Chapman:

1. He throws the baseball over 100 mph. on almost every pitch, and has hit 105 mph. on the radar gun this season. Traditionally 90 mph on a pitcher;s fastball is considered good. 95 mph is considered very good. 100 mph is outrageous. Last year, Chapman threw more pitches over 100 mph than the rest of his league’s pitchers combined.

2. Chapman was suspended for much of this season for domestic abuse, under baseball’s new policies.

The Cubs recently acquired Chapman (from the Yankees) to be the team’s closer, in this, a season that bids fair to be the one that finally ends the team’s epic string of seasons without a World Series title. The Cubs last won the Series in 1908, over a century ago. The team hasn’t even made it to the Series since 1945.

Now here’s the punch-line.

Hold on to your head.

Many teams give players entering the game theme songs that have some significance for them. Often it’s the choice is based on a pun. Some teams let the players choose the tunes. In this case, the Cubs disc-jockey picked one of his own, because he thought it would be hilarious. As Chapman entered yesterday’s game, with a full house in family-friendly Wrigley Field, the home team’s DJ played The Prodigy’s hit, “Smack My Bitch Up.”

He really did. No, I’m not kidding, he really, really did.

The Cubs apologized to the world immediately but lied, saying that the playing of that song was “unintentional.”  Why do people and organizations and Presidential candidates do that? All it does is tell us that they will resort to lying as a first response to problems. How could the song that directly references Chapman’s domestic abuse issues be played by accident? What an incredible coincidence that song, and not, say, “Whistle While You Work” or “They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Ha!” just happened to get its button pushed, just as Chapman was walking onto the field! This is classic Jumbo territory: telling the public a ridiculous lie that nobody could possibly believe because someone doesn’t have the guts to tell the truth and accept responsibility in the wake of a mess..

Today the Cubs sobered up, and fired the idiot responsible, saying…

The selection of this track showed a lack of judgment and sensitivity to an important issue. We have terminated our relationship with the employee responsible for making the selection and will be implementing stronger controls to review and approve music before public broadcast during our games.”

Good idea.


Facts: NBC Sports

22 thoughts on “KABOOM! The Wrigley Field DJ Really Thought This Would Be OK! (And The Cubs Get A Jumbo…)

  1. Great use of songs was the World Series many years ago between the Yankees and Dodgers. Steve Garvey’s wife was having an affair with Marvin Hamlisch and every time Garvey came to bat the Yankee Stadium organist would play a Hamlisch tune.

  2. Ah ha, thanks for the full story!
    There was chatter on 700WLW today about former Cincinnati Red Aroldis Chapman, the song you listed and something about a gun being shot in the garage.
    Now I understand the reference point, thanks for the fill in!

  3. Good column. As a life-long Cubs’ fan [and also a White Sox fan, something many here in Chicago bizarrely think it is not possible] I find this terribly embarrassing. Two minor points: i) the Cubs actually made it to the World Series in 1945 and lost to the Detroit Tigers in 7 games, very possibly because so many fine NL ballplayers hadn’t returned from military service (or so believes my dad, who remembers the Series well, especially the ticket lines around Wrigley Field); and ii) the first organist who played “walk-up music” was the wonderful Nancy Faust, who recently retired as the White Sox organist after about 30 years in both Sox stadia. She now plays organ for the Kane County Cougars, which is the A affiliate of the Arizona D-backs. You can bet that she would never have done something so juvenile.

  4. The head custodian at my mom’s grammar school was Cub 1st baseman Phil Cavaretta’s dad. Not long after the series ended, Phil came to her school [she was in 6th grade] and left a signed baseball. The Cubs are in my blue veins. They run a ruthless business here; they’ve long been very successful in the front office, but not on the field. We’ll see whether that changes this year. Once a lifetime is all I ask. To have this season marred by this moron at the organ … let’s hope that’s not what we end up remembering!

    • Loser chic is unhealthy, and I’ve thought so for decades. It would be great if the Cubs made the series…I worry about it, though. It’s been too easy so far. A lot of young players, Lester chokes, and there really aren’t many good teams in the NL…I wonder how good they really are.

  5. Assuming your question “what’s wrong with you (for not fiollowing baseball closely)” was not rhetorical allow me to answer.

    Inter league play, wild card playoffs, and, the coup de grace, the strike. You can only spit on this fan so much.

    • 1. With 30 teams playoffs are unavoidable, and with unbalanced schedules, the Wild Cards are fair, since the records of teams in different divisions are not comparable. I agree that it stinks that a team that has finished first over a whole season can be upended by a team that finished behind it. That possibility is half as likely now, thanks to the wild card game.

      2. I could do without interleague play, which devalues the World Series. It shouldn’t be a deal-breaker, though.

      3. The strike? You mean the 1994 strike? Were you an Expos fan? Jeez, people didn’t hold a grudge over the Black Sox Scandal that long!

      • I hate interleague play. Depending on what field you are playing on determines if you play REAL baseball, NL Baseball, or FAKE Baseball, AL Baseball with the DH. I don’t want my teams record effected by having to play a version of baseball that they usually don’t play.

        No but seriously, I think it takes away from the World Series and the All Star Game. It use to be that was the only time you saw them play each other so it was special.

  6. Smack My Bitch Up? Huh? Words fail me. Let’s hear it for the ethics of the pop music industry.

    And what about the “cultural” appropriation? I bet the the Cubbies’ now erstwhile DJ is white! Two of the three The Prodigies are White! There’s even a weird sampling of Middle Eastern music in the “piece.” Where’s the outrage?

    • A question, however: What would be the appropriate response if the DJ at Fenway were to play the ‘song’ as Chapman strolls to the mound in a Series game this fall? ethical?

      • It’s unethical no matter who plays it, or where. First of all, the song itself isn’t suitable for a family environment, as it extols domestic abuse. Second, it’s unfair to Chapman. We’re not even sure exactly what he did. I would feel the same about a visiting team playing “Mother’s Little Helper” (about the “little yellow pill”) when A-Rod or Bonds came to bat. Its just mean, and a Golden Rule breache.

  7. >If you don’t follow baseball closely, and by the way, what’s the matter with you?

    What can I say? I just don’t care about it. I don’t have anything against the sport, I just don’t have anything for it, either.

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