The Cubs’ Legacy of Bad Baseball Now Extends to Bad TV Business

In Uncategorized by andcounting119 Comments

The Cubs just signed a deal to include the Marquee Sports Network on Hulu’s Hulu+Live option inside the Cubs’ broadcast market. That, along with the addition of AT&T NOW, marks basically the first sign of hope for Cubs fans who have cut the cord on cable.

But most of those whose cords remain solidly intact use Xfinity and are still without answers on when they can expect to see the Cubs Fiasco Channel on their screens. Cubs head of screwing up business operations, Crane Kenney, is presumably the imbecile responsible for negotiating deals with cable networks, and he has failed to get one done as of 3+ days before the first spring training game broadcast.

It won’t get done in time. There won’t be a stand-alone streaming option (like Disney+, HBO NOW, ESPN+, you know the drill because this is 2020 and you’re not an idiot because you aren’t Crane Kenney unless someone is reading this aloud to you).

So much revenue is just sitting around. I know that’s no big deal because the Cubs have cash literally flowing out their nostrils. But during an offseason in which so many great players were so very ungettable for the poor billionaires club, it would have been nice to have some forward-thinking . . . or even current-thinking resident of the 21st century come up with a plan to actually make money on this Cubs TV network.

It’s so disappointing. The reason the Cubs have so many fans has very little to do with their historically pathetic ability to play baseball and so much to do with their ingenuity in offering their games on TV nationwide when no one else was doing that. It’s hard to believe they’ve become such a backward-minded waste of a franchise even in the one area they used to absolutely lead the world in: broadcasting.

But here we are. I can’t believe more Cubs fans aren’t way more furious about it.

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  1. berselius

    My folks are out in AZ this week and have hit the back fields a few times. Can report that David Ross is a super friendly dude with the fans. I’m looking forward to being out there next weekend.

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  2. Rizzo the Rat

    Not a huge fan of the Marquee graphics layout. There’s too much on the bottom of the screen and the pitch velo is barely legible.

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  3. uncle dave

    berselius:
    There is something approximating baseball today!

    Pretty sure “Hey Chicago, whaddya say? The Cubs are gonna play something approximating baseball today!” is the new 2020 theme song.

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  4. Author
    andcounting

    uncle dave: Pretty sure “Hey Chicago, whaddya say?The Cubs are gonna play something approximating baseball today!” isthe new 2020 theme song.

    At least we’ll only have to hear it 50 times or so.

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  5. berselius

    I’m going to be at Saturday’s game – on the remote chance that anyone else here is in AZ this weekend, I’ll buy you a beer.

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  6. Rizzo the Rat

    Brandon Morrow told me he threw Thursday and his chest felt good. Unfortunately he was running afterwards and felt something in his calf. Had an MRI yesterday and has a mild tear in his calf (Grade 1 plus) and will be sidelined 10-14 days.

    — Sahadev Sharma (@sahadevsharma) February 29, 2020

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  7. BVS

    MLB announced Thursday that Kerwin Danley, Alfonso Marquez, Dan Iassogna and Jim Reynolds have been promoted to crew chief. Gary Cederstrom, Dana DeMuth, Mike Everitt, and Jeff Kellogg are retiring from full-time umpiring work and Ramon de Jesus, Ryan Blakney, Nic Lentz, Chris Segal, and Jansen Visconti are new additions to the full-time staff.

    Apparently CB Bucknor, Angel Hernandez, and Joe West still, inexplicably, have jobs.

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  8. Author
    andcounting

    dmick89,

    Yeah, I mean I don’t see how the rumors could be baseless. I also don’t see how the Brewers wouldn’t know about it. So either they don’t think his sudden offensive increase was cheating-dependent, or they really don’t think he’s going to get caught.

    Or they know their asses are all fired if he leaves and blabs his mouth. Is it legal to put an NDA in an athlete’s contract?

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  9. Perkins

    dmick89:
    andcounting,

    I don’t know what’s legal and what’s not anymore. I just assume if it benefits rich white people it’s legal. If it does not, there’s no way it’s legal.

    Well, Yelich probably helps them sell more tickets, which benefits rich white people. QED.

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  10. Ryno

    Jonathan Mayo @JonathanMayo 17m
    Nice piece of opposite field hitting for No. 21 ⁦@Padres⁩ prospect Blake Hunt for an RBI single

    If your last name is Hunt, you really shouldn’t name your child something that ends in a K sound.

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  11. Rizzo the Rat

    Announcement expected shortly that MLB will be suspending operations. More details to come.

    — Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) March 12, 2020

    The Cubs FO’s strategy of not spending any money this off-season is looking brilliantly prescient now.

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  12. uncle dave

    berselius,

    I’m planning on live-tweeting Hulk Hogan’s “NO HOLDS BARRED” tomorrow starting at about 10:00 PDT. Happy to do a crossover if you think it’ll drive traffic…

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  13. berselius

    Sounds like most of the sports leagues are working off the plan that things might start up again in June.

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  14. Perkins

    It’s going to be really interesting to see how teams handle issues like player comp and season ticket holders in a truncated season. I’d expect revenues to be down across the board even for the games that get played.

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  15. berselius

    Since the NFL offseason is the only thing not closed for business, (dying laughing)o(dying laughing)o(dying laughing) at Bill O’Brien and the Texans.

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  16. Perkins

    https://blogs.fangraphs.com/how-much-do-the-playoff-odds-change-in-a-shorter-season/

    Based on ZiPS, the Cubs playoff chances drop by about 7% in a shortened season (assuming they go down to 81 games). I guess that makes sense if we assume they have the highest true talent level in the division and the volatility from increased sample size makes it less likely that talent wins out, but I’m also curious as to the methodology.

    The Cubs seem to have a more top heavy distribution of talent than other teams in the Central, but a worse bench – I wonder if that wouldn’t help them more in a shortened season since there’s less wear and tear on their best players.

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  17. EnricoPallazzo

    Perkins: I wonder if that wouldn’t help them more in a shortened season since there’s less wear and tear on their best players.

    yeah but i think it would be (at least partially) cancelled out by the fact that IF an injury does in fact happen to a top player, that player will miss a larger percentage of the overall season…

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  18. Rizzo the Rat

    I’m starting to think this season should just be run on a sophisticated graphic baseball simulator.

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  19. Ryno

    Regarding Matt Patricia calling out Slay in a team meeting, telling him to “stop sucking this man’s private” because Slay posted a picture of another player on social media…

    The article’s author wrote:

    Patricia, whose comment was meant figuratively…

    As if people were reading his article and thought Slay was literally sucking a man’s privates when Patricia told him to stop.

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  20. berselius

    uncle dave,

    If you like sci-fi, I can heartily recommend The Expanse. First book is Leviathan Wakes.

    The show they made off the series is also quite good, and is on Amazon Prime.

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  21. Rizzo the Rat

    One thing I’m wondering about: if Japanese and South Korean baseball leagues start their seasons before the MLB, will we be able to watch them in the US?

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  22. uncle dave

    berselius,

    I kinda miss the old old days of ESPN trying desperately to fill time. It was Aussie Rules Football and roller derby back when I was a kid, which I would watch 24/7 right now if they showed it. Instead, we get Stephen A. Smith trying to fill an hour talking about sports that aren’t happening.

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  23. Rizzo the Rat

    New York Mets starter Noah Syndergaard has a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow and is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, sources tell ESPN. The procedure will keep him out until at earliest April 2021 and likely into the summer months.

    — Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 24, 2020

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  24. berselius

    I’m guessing anyone with vague elbow problems might as well just get a knife and dig around in there at this point.

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  25. BVS

    Ryno,

    I bet Matt Patricia will be yet another Detroit manager soon forgotten, or infamously remembered.

    Hard to believe that this stuff still flies even in sports. You can be firm and tough with players without being a bully. Players coming up these days aren’t going to take that, and social media, as much as it suckx, is here to stay.

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  26. Rizzo the Rat

    Rizzo the Rat:
    I’m starting to think this season should just be run on a sophisticated graphic baseball simulator.

    Rhys Hoskins will play Thursday against Marlins shortstop Miguel Rojas in MLB The Show with a live-stream on YouTube at 4:10 p.m., the time of what would have been the first pitch of Opening Day.

    — Matt Breen (@matt_breen) March 25, 2020

    Not quite what I meant, but, I’ll take it.

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  27. Ryno

    BVS,

    He’s another in a long line of NE coordinators that struggle as head coaches. Teams keep coveting NE products that don’t seem to understand what made NE successful for so long. Working under Belichick doesn’t make you a good coach if you think sucking a man’s private (figuratively speaking), has any effect on the team.

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  28. berselius

    berselius,

    Seriously, I saw someone bitterly comment this on someone talking about the rebroadcast yesterday. Yes, sadly the Cubs went downhill from winning the championship and having their greatest regular season in team history.

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  29. EnricoPallazzo

    uncle dave:
    Anyone reading anything good right now?

    I have been making my way through all of the grateful dead books. My 2 cents: Bear’s book kinda sucked. The writing felt pretty disjointed and I got the sense that a bunch of important details were glossed over and/or purposely omitted. The blair jackson book was really well written but was written from a journalist’s perspective (not a bad thing but lacked that first-hand feel). Phil’s book is really good, I am about halfway through it. Surprisingly well-written and phil is just a really thoughtful and funny guy and it comes across in his writing. Billy’s book is up next.

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  30. SK

    EnricoPallazzo,

    Let me know how Kreutzmann’s book is. It has been sitting on my bedside table for about a year. My 80-something year old mom bought it for me remembering the Dead were one of my favorite bands. That was true when I was 16, but not really since then — but then, I haven’t kept mom up to date so it’s not her fault (dying laughing) . Still, I’ll get around to it eventually, unless you tell me it sucks.

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  31. BVS

    berselius,

    Would you trade a 31 yo LF slugger and notably bad defender coming off a 1.6 War season and making $3M+/yr, for a 26 yo pitcher coming off a 1.0 War season in arbitration?

    That Ken Patterson trade looks completely reasonable without the Sosa throw in. Larry Himes obviously learned something from watching Dallas Green.

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  32. Rizzo the Rat

    How many Cubs fans thought this was gone off the bat? pic.twitter.com/4vtFaPsj4P

    — Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) April 1, 2020

    I’ll never understand why people describe the Kipnis foul ball as if it were a “near miss.” Even if it had stayed fair, it would have fallen short of the warning track.

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