Maddon on Wrigley video board: Spectacular

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • The new video board in left field is a hit with new Cubs manager Joe Maddon.

    The new video board in left field is a hit with new Cubs manager Joe Maddon. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

  • Edward Barry Thomas of Chicago Cubs charities sells split the pot raffle tickets as fans prepare for the opening of the 2015 baseball season at Wrigley Field.

    Edward Barry Thomas of Chicago Cubs charities sells split the pot raffle tickets as fans prepare for the opening of the 2015 baseball season at Wrigley Field. Daniel White | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/5/2015 8:50 PM

For all of the trepidation and doom-saying, the Cubs' new giant video board looked to be a big hit with fans during Sunday night's season opener at Wrigley Field.

It certainly didn't hurt that the Cubs put together a nice tribute to the late Ernie Banks and showed it on the board beyond left field.

 

The Banks tribute and the board dovetailed nicely as the Cubs unveiled their biggest change in the early stages of the ballpark renovations.

"Spectacular," said Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who got a look at the board during a Saturday workout. "I thought it was spectacular. I'm sure it's going to be met with resistance from some of the old-timers around here. But I think new normals are created within maybe 3-5 years.

"I think you'll get this new normal working here with the people being accepting of it. I'm sure there are going to be a lot who are on board quickly. Being new to the game here, my first impression was spectacular. It was well done, the way it blends in. I'm sure the fans will appreciate the experience better being here. I don't see the negative."

The Cubs held a moment of silence for Hall of Famer Banks, who died in January. Banks' sons, Jerry and Joey, threw out ceremonial first pitches, and the new board played Banks highlights throughout the evening.

During Saturday's workout, Jorge Soler and Mike Olt hit the board during batting practice, but no damage was done.

"It's cool," Olt said of the board. "It's going to help the fans out. The fans are going to have a little more fun with it."

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Cubs president Theo Epstein said he didn't think the board overwhelms the park.

"When I saw the mock-ups, I was mildly concerned," Epstein said. "When I saw the photos when I was in Arizona, I was extremely concerned. You ever hang a flat screen on your wall? And you're wife's telling you it's way too big and you're arguing that it's not too big even though you know it's probably too big?

"When I got here, it was just perfect. It's a little big up close, but if you sit in the majority of the seating bowl, it seems ideal. Everyone was really happy with it."

Roster all set:

The Cubs waited until Sunday to set their 25-man roster. They designated veteran outfielder Ryan Sweeney for assignment. Making the team were outfielder Matt Szczur and infielder Jonathan Herrera.

Officially going on the disabled list were outfielder Chris Denorfia and pitchers Dallas Beeler, Jacob Turner and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Szczur, a former two-sport star out of Villanova, made the team with a strong spring.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"I worked so hard this off-season and during the season," Szczur said. "It feels really great for them to say that I went out there and I earned it and wasn't given anything."

Joe Maddon said Szczur flew under the radar because of the spring enjoyed by hot prospect Kris Bryant.

"Kris Bryant's been the lightning rod all camp," Maddon said. "You have guys like Szczur, who has had a wonderful camp. If he was not protected by KB, he would have been really talked about a lot more often than he was."

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