Cubs

CSN and CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive coverage for its 2016 White Sox and Cubs opening week telecasts

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CSN and CSNChicago.com to deliver comprehensive coverage for its 2016 White Sox and Cubs opening week telecasts

Expanded Coverage on tap for White Sox Season Opener on Apr. 4/Home Opener on Apr. 8, along with CSN’s first Cubs Telecast on Apr. 5 

CSNChicago.com coverage highlighted by Opening Week pre/post-game video reports, exclusive behind-the-scenes video, Plus - feature stories, “Insider” reports, in-game Twitter coverage from on-air/digital talent and much more!

Chicago, IL (March 31, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games (close to 200!) and most comprehensive coverage of the 2016 Chicago White Sox and Chicago Cubs, will deliver expanded coverage for the White Sox Season/Road Opener on Monday, April 4, its first Cubs game of the season on Tuesday, April 5, and the White Sox Home Opener on Friday, April 8! Also, Comcast SportsNet’s digital home, CSNChicago.com, will provide fans with even more extensive Opening Week coverage, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video, numerous feature stories, “Insider” reports, featured player videos, game previews/recaps and much more!

For the White Sox Season/Road Opener on Monday, April 4, Comcast SportsNet will get MLB’s opening day underway starting at 5:30 PM CT with SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado, along with a pair of Road to Opening DayCubs/White Sox specials, which leads right into the season premiere of White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships at 8:30 PM…and first pitch is set for 9:00 PM as the White Sox face the Oakland Athletics in their 2016 season debut. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of Subaru White Sox Postgame Live.  Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNet’s White Sox Opening Day coverage:

MONDAY, APRIL 4 on COMCAST SPORTSNET – WHITE SOX SEASON OPENER!

5:30 PM – SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado– Special Opening Day edition pre-game discussion & analysis with host David Kaplan and special guests featuring live remote White Sox updates from Oakland and Cubs updates from Anaheim.

6:30 PM – SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business – Even more Opening Night coverage, including White Sox & Cubs game previews, along with live remote interviews and recaps from earlier MLB’s Opening Day games.

7:30 PM – Road to Opening Day: Chicago Cubs – Featuring Cubs player/coaches interviews, player profiles, along with numerous, entertaining off-the-field feature stories.

8:00 PM – Road to Opening Day: Chicago White Sox – Featuring White Sox player/coaches interviews, player profiles, along with numerous, entertaining off-the-field feature stories.

8:30 PM – White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships – Comprehensive Opening Night pre-game coverage featuring hosts Chuck Garfien & Bill Melton, along with live remote updates from Oakland via White Sox beat reporter Siera Santos and CSNChicago.com White Sox “Insider” Dan Hayes. 

9:00 PM – SEASON OPENER: WHITE SOX at OAKLAND (L) – Featuring Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call

12:00 AM – Subaru White Sox Postgame Live (time approx.) – Hosted by Garfien and Melton featuring post-game reaction, post-game player interviews from Siera Santos, and a detailed game recap.

12:30 AM –SportsNet Central presented by CLR – LIVE, comprehensive White Sox and Cubs Opening Day local recap and national Opening Day recaps from around Major League Baseball.

1:00 AM – White Sox at Oakland (game replay)

On Tuesday, April 5 on CSN+, Comcast SportsNet will provide fans with extensive coverage for its first Chicago Cubs telecast of the 2016 season.  Coverage begins at 8:30 PM with Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group, featuring hosts David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth, along with live remote reports from Anaheim via Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney.  The Cubs will face the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim with first pitch set for 9:00 PM CT with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies providing the game call.  The game will also be immediately followed by an expanded edition ofCubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.  NOTE: Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER page for the exact CSN+ channel location in their area; plus – this game will also be joined in progress on the main Comcast SportsNet channel location immediately following “Blackhawks Postgame Live.”  Note the following highlights from this special day of Cubs coverage:

TUESDAY, APRIL 5 on COMCAST SPORTSNET PLUS (CSN+) – CUBS at LA ANGELS!

8:30 PM – Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group – Comprehensive pre-game coverage featuring hosts David Kaplan & Todd Hollandsworth, along with live remote updates from Anaheim via Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull and CSNChicago.com Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney. 

9:00 PM – CUBS at LA ANGELS (L) – Featuring Len Kasper & Jim Deshaies on the call

12:00 AM – Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois(time approx.) – Hosted by Kapland and Hollandsworth featuring post-game reaction, post-game player interviews from Kelly Crull, and a detailed game recap.

NOTE: Comcast SportsNet’s first home Cubs telecast of the 2016 campaign will take place on Wednesday, April 13 on CSN+, as the Cubs host the division rival Cincinnati Reds at Wrigley Field (pre-game coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group at 6:30 PM; first pitch is set for 7:00 PM).

For the White Sox home opener on Friday, April 8, Comcast SportsNet will start up its coverage at 2:00 PM with an expanded, LIVE REMOTE Opening Day edition of White Sox Pregame Livepresented by The Kowalis Family of Dealershipsfrom U.S. Cellular Field.  The one-hour Opening Day special will be hosted by Comcast SportsNet’s White Sox studio tandem of Chuck Garfien and Bill Melton, along with extensive pre-game reports from Siera Santos and CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes.  First pitch is set for 3:00 PM as the White Sox host the division rival Cleveland Indians featuring White Sox announcing tandem of Ken “Hawk” Harrelson and Steve Stone on the call (NOTE: new White Sox play-by-play announcer will call his first CSN home game of the 2016 campaign on Sunday, April 10 at 1:00 PM).The home opener will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of Subaru White Sox Postgame Live, also taking place live from U.S. Cellular Field.  Note the following highlights from Comcast SportsNet’s White Sox Opening Day coverage:

FRIDAY, APRIL 8 on COMCAST SPORTSNET – 2016 WHITE SOX HOME OPENER!

1:30 PM – Going Home: Jose Abreu – Encore edition of the Comcast SportsNet Original Production acclaimed half-hour documentary special profiling Major League Baseball’s first goodwill trip to Cuba in over 16 years…featuring Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu’s first return visit to his beloved home country in over two years.

2:00 PM – White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships – Expanded Opening Day pre-game coverage featuring Comcast SportsNet’s Chuck Garfien, Bill Melton, Siera Santos, and CSNChicago.com’s Dan Hayes LIVE from U.S. Cellular Field.  Special Opening Day pre-game features include live interviews with White Sox front office execs & special guests, plus – a complete season preview, a look around the ballpark featuring a number of opening day festivities, and much more.   

3:00 PM – HOME OPENER: WHITE SOX vs. CLEVELAND (L) – Featuring Ken “Hawk” Harrelson & Steve Stone on the call

6:00 PM – Subaru White Sox Postgame Live (time approx.) – Hosted by Garfien and Melton featuring the LIVE post-game press conference with White Sox manager Robin Ventura (to also be streamed live on CSNChicago.com), along with player interviews and post-game reports from Siera Santos.

7:00 PM –White Sox vs. Cleveland (game replay)

10:00 PM & 10:30 PM – GMC SportsNet Central – LIVE, comprehensive White Sox Home Opener breakdown featuring interviews, highlights and analysis, along with additional Opening Day recaps from around Major League Baseball.

From a digital perspective, Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 24/7 Cubs coverage all season long, including the following highlights:

  • Live stream of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conferences (sponsored by Xfinity) following every home game.
  • Cubs “Insider” Patrick Mooney returns for his seventh season on the beatFollow him on Twitter @CSNMooney for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7.  Mooney will also file daily stories/video reports and will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group, SportsTalk LiveSportsNet Central and in select Comcast SportsNet Cubs home games.
  • Cubs Pre/Postgame Live host David Kaplan will once again offer on-going reports and insight via his popular “The Kapman” posts, which will include exclusive video content.  Kaplan can also be followed on Twitter 24/7 @thekapman, for up-to-the-second Cubs news. 
  • “Cubs Pulse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “Cubs Pulse” aggregates all Cubs player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag #CubsTalk. Fans can also get interactive on Twitter by utilizing hashtags #CubsTalk for the latest news, rumors, trades and more by following @CSNCubs.
  • CSNChicago.com digital baseball reporters Tony Andracki (@TonyAndracki23) and JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) will also be providing game day reports, analysis and features.
  • In addition to his on-air duties, Kaplan will partner with Mooney and CSN’s Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull (@Kelly_Crull)this season on CSNChicago.com, providing multi-platform coverage via on-going special features and more. 
  • CubsTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive Cubs news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. CubsTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, ChiFireTalk, BearsTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • The Honda Road Ahead,” presented by the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers, will provide fans with an expanded look at upcoming Cubs opponents and key pitching match-ups.
  • CSN Chicago’s Cubs content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com.

ALSO -- from a digital perspective, Comcast SportsNet’s website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 24/7 White Sox coverage all season long, including the following highlights:

  • Live stream of White Sox manager Robin Ventura’s post-game press conferences (sponsored by Xfinity) following every home game.
  • White Sox “Insider” Dan Hayes returns for his fifth season on the beatFollow him on Twitter @CSNHayes for the latest team/player news and inside access 24/7.  Hayes will also file daily stories/video reports and will make regular on-air appearances throughout the season on White Sox Pregame Live presented by The Kowalis Family of Dealerships,SportsTalk LiveSportsNet Central and in select Comcast SportsNet White Sox home games.
  • White Sox Pre/Postgame Live host Chuck Garfien will once again offer on-going reports and insight via his popular “Sox Drawer” posts, which will include exclusive video content.  Garfien can also be followed on Twitter 24/7 @ChuckGarfien, for up-to-the-second White Sox news. 
  • “White Sox Pulse,” a one-stop social media hub that reveals the latest trending topics and player buzz from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.  Plus, “White Sox Pulse” aggregates all White Sox player tweets, along with fan tweets that utilize the hashtag#WhiteSoxTalk. Fans can also get interactive on Twitter by utilizing hashtags#WhiteSoxTalk for the latest news, rumors, trades and more by following@CSNWhiteSox.
  • CSNChicago.com digital baseball reporters JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) and Paul Roumeliotis (@PaulRoumel) will also be providing game day reports, analysis and features.
  • In addition to his on-air duties, Garfien will partner with Hayes and CSN’s White Sox baseball beat reporter Siera Santos (@SieraSantos)this season on CSNChicago.com, providing multi-platform coverage via on-going special features and more. 
  • WhiteSoxTalk, CSNChicago.com’s high-velocity, real-time, comprehensive White Sox news and opinion section featuring original commentary, reporting and aggregation. WhiteSoxTalk is under the banner of NBC SportsTalk, NBC’s successful digital franchise on NBCSports.com that includes ProFootballTalk, HardballTalk, ProBaskteballTalk, ProHockeyTalk, CollegeFootballTalk and GolfTalkCentral. SportsTalk was extended to CSNChicago.com through the creation of BlackhawksTalk, BullsTalk, CubsTalk, WhiteSoxTalk, ChiFireTalk, BearsTalk, PrepsTalk, IrishTalk and B1GTalk which contains interactive content and continually updated insights from the network’s digital and on-air talent.
  • The Honda Road Ahead,” presented by the Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana Honda Dealers, will provide fans with an expanded look at upcoming White Sox opponents and key pitching match-ups.
  • CSN Chicago’s White Sox content will also be distributed via its digital network of partnerships including NBCSports.com, NBCNews.com, Yahoo! Sports and Xfinity.com

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 31st homer in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa's 18th homer of June and 31st of the season came off the Tigers in the Cubs' brief 2-game Interleague series in Detroit. 

Sosa connected in the first inning off Tigers starter Seth Greisinger, going back-to-back with Mickey Morandini. 

The Cubs wound up getting out to a 5-0 start in the game but still lost 7-6 on a Gabe Alvarez single in the bottom of the 11th.

The aforementioned Morandini homer was only the 3rd of the season for the Cubs second baseman. He finished with 8 homers on the year and 224 total bases on 172 hits in what was a very good offensive season. Yet it paled in comparison to Sosa, who had nearly 200 more total bases (416) and a slugging percentage nearly 200 points above Morandini's (.647 to .471), a testament to how truly incredible Sosa's season was.

Fun fact: Tony Clark was the Tigers' cleanup hitter that day. Clark is now the head of the MLB Players Union.

Fun fact No. 2: Paul Bako was the Detroit catcher in the game. He later became the Cubs backup catcher in 2003 and 2004, when he posted a .611 OPS in 119 games over the two years.

Maddon gets funky with bullpen, calls catcher Chris Gimenez to mound

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USA TODAY

Maddon gets funky with bullpen, calls catcher Chris Gimenez to mound

The Cubs continued their recent struggles, suffering their third straight loss to the Cincinnati Reds. 

But the game was not without its fair share of drama. The matchup was a back-and-forth affair, up until the Reds blew the game wide-open in the bottom of the third inning. This included a grand slam by Reds pitcher Anthony DeSclafani, the first home run of his career.

Cubs manager Joe Maddon turned to the bullpen following Cincinnati's third inning explosion, and things did not get much better from there.

With the Cubs down six runs in the bottom of the eight inning, Maddon brought in catcher Chris Gimenez to pitch. 

This was not new territory for Gimenez, who despite being a catcher, now has 10 MLB pitching appearances to his name. 

Down six runs, Gimenez didn't have a lot to lose. But Reds first basemen Joey Votto hammered a fastball in the zone for his eighth homer of the year.

Gimenez had a career ERA of 8.00 before Saturday's appearance, and he certainly didn't do much to help lower that figure.

According to ESPN's Jesse Rogers: "Including one today, Cubs relievers have allowed 41.1 percent of inherited runners to score in June, sixth most in the NL." 

A tired bullpen is certainly cause for concern for the Cubs, who are locked into a battle in the NL Central with the Brewers and Cardinals. Maddon was surely hoping to keep his bullpen arms fresh with the move, seeing as the game was already out of reach. 

So yes, the game did end in a 11-2 win for the Reds. But with a grand-slam by a pitcher—on his first career HR no less—and four-seam fastballs from a catcher, Cubs baseball always keep things interesting.