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CSN announces its 2016 Cubs on-air/digital coverage details

CSN announces its 2016 Cubs on-air/digital coverage details

86 Game Regular Season Schedule begins April 5, 9:00 PM at the LA Angels on CSN+ featuring Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies with the call all season long!

Plus – Exclusive Cubs content 24/7 on CSNChicago.com, Every Home and Road Game in HD, “Crosstown Cup” action vs. White Sox and much more!

Chicago, IL (March 24, 2016) – Comcast SportsNet -- the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of 2016 Chicago Cubs featuring  National League “Rookie of the Year” Kris Bryant (26 HRs, 99 RBI), National League “Cy Young Award” winner Jake Arrieta (22-6, 1.77 ERA w/236 K’s), National League “Manager of the Year” Joe Maddon (led Cubs to 97 wins/NLCS appearance), two-time NL All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo (63 HRs, 179 RBI over the past two seasons), veteran starter Jon Lester (3.34 ERA over 32 starts last year), rookie sensations Kyle Schwarber & Addison Russell, newcomers Jason Heyward (winner of three NL Gold Gloves; 23 stolen bases in ‘15), second baseman Brent Zobrist (two-time AL All-Star), and John Lackey (2.77 ERA & tied for NL lead w/33 starts last year), along the return of veteran outfielder Dexter Fowler and young stars Jorge Soler & Javier Baez among others -- has announced its upcoming Cubs telecast schedule and accompanying on-air network coverage and digital coverage on CSNChicago.com.  Comcast SportsNet’s season-long coverage of the 2016 Chicago Cubs is presented by State Farm.

The 2016 Cubs season on Comcast SportsNet includes 86 live regular season games with the first telecast taking place on Tuesday, April 5 at 9:00 PM CT on CSN+, as the Cubs travel to face the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim featuring the popular Cubs announcing tandem of Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies with the game call.  (NOTE: Viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER page for the exact CSN+ channel location in their area).  Coverage gets underway on Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group beginning at 8:30 PM with host David Kaplan and studio analyst Todd Hollandsworth, along with CSN’s Cubs beat reporter Kelly Crull providing live reports from Anaheim.  The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.

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).

In-game highlights of note for the 2016 Cubs season include a brand new NBC Sports graphics package, along with the return of CSN’s popular super slo-mo technology, which is capable of showing slow-motion replays of over 2,000 frames per second.  In addition, fans can once again look forward to “Pitch Trax” in all games this season, which animates the precise pitch location throughout the game in a variety of angles, along with CSN’s “Telestrator” in select game telecasts this season, detailing key plays, defensive field formations and much more.  Plus, viewers will once again get an in-depth look at MLB’s instant-replay system, which, upon a manager’s challenge, will review home runs, ground rule doubles, fan interference, along with numerous other in-game scenarios.

Among the 2016 Cubs regular season schedule highlights on Comcast SportsNet -- featuring 49 weeknight primetime starts -- include 42 NL Central battles highlighted by games against the three-time defending division champion St. Louis Cardinals (10 games), ’15 NL Wildcard Game opponent Pittsburgh Pirates (10 games), I-90 rival Milwaukee Brewers (11 games), along with the Cincinnati Reds (11 games).  In addition, viewers can look forward to three games against ’15 NLCS opponent/defending National League champion New York Mets, three games against the two-time defending NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers, four games against NL MVP Bryce Harper and the Washington Nationals, plus - an expanded interleague schedule including games against AL West foes LA Angels, Houston, Seattle and Oakland.  ALSO -- Comcast SportsNet will carry all four Cubs-White Sox “Crosstown Cup” interleague games this year (NOTE: the July 26 & 28 “Crosstown” games will be “Cubs” telecasts on Comcast SportsNet, while the July 25 & 27 games will be “White Sox” telecasts).

For the fourth-straight season, Cubs play-by-play man Len Kasper and former MLB pitcher/veteran game analyst Jim Deshaies join forces for every Cubs telecast on CSN.  Plus, Comcast SportsNet’s David Kaplan will be joined by former Cubs/MLB standout Todd Hollandsworth before and after the majority of Comcast SportsNet Cubs telecasts on Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group and Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois.        

From an online 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 Live, SportsNet 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.

For the ninth-straight season, Comcast SportsNet will produce every Cubs regular season home and road game in a high-definition (HD) format.   In addition, ten Cubs games are currently scheduled to be telecast on Comcast SportsNet Plus (see attached schedule).  Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN+) telecasts are provided to Comcast SportsNet affiliates and distributed to viewers when two live events are scheduled simultaneously.  CSN+ is available in high-definition on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 201 in the Chicago area/South Bend, IN & on Comcast/Xfinity ch. 285 in the Peoria, Springfield, Rockford and Champaign markets, along with being made available in DIRECTV, DISH Network, AT&T U-verse, RCN, and WOW! homes among others; viewers are urged to visit CSNChicago.com’s CHANNEL FINDER for complete channel location details). Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers can also watch all CSN+ games in standard definition on CLTV. 

Before a number of Cubs games on Comcast SportsNet (including all weekend telecasts), fans can tune to Cubs Pregame Live presented by Fields Auto Group featuring a half-hour of pre-game analysis, interviews and the very latest Cubs news (NOTE: for weeknight 7:00 PM game start times or earlier, pre-game coverage can be found SportsTalk Live presented by The Chevy Silverado featuring host David Kaplan or SportsNet Central presented by Comcast Business).  Following the majority of all games, viewers can look forward to the most comprehensive post-game wrap-up show on Cubs Postgame Live presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois featuring live coverage of Cubs manager Joe Maddon’s post-game press conferences and live locker room interviews with Cubs players.  Following primetime editions of Cubs Postgame Live, Comcast SportsNet will air GMC SportsNet Central with the most complete recap of the day’s top local and national sports news.

Comcast SportsNet
2016 Chicago Cubs Schedule

Regular Season: (every game available in HD)

1. Tue, Apr 5 9:00 pm @ Los Angeles Angels (CSN+) 
2. Thu, Apr 7 8:30 pm @ Arizona (CSN+)
3. Sat, Apr 9 7:00 pm @ Arizona
4. Wed, Apr 13 7:00 pm vs. Cincinnati (CSN+)
5. Thu, Apr 14 7:00 pm vs. Cincinnati
6. Fri, Apr 15 1:20 pm vs. Colorado
7. Sat, Apr 16 1:20 pm vs. Colorado
8. Tue, Apr 19 7:00 pm @ St. Louis
9. Wed, Apr 20 12:30 pm @ St. Louis
10. Thu, Apr 21 6:00 pm @ Cincinnati
11. Sat, Apr 23 6:00 pm @ Cincinnati
12. Tue, Apr 26 7:00 pm vs. Milwaukee
13. Thu, Apr 28 1:20 pm vs. Milwaukee
14. Fri, Apr 29 1:20 pm vs. Atlanta
15. Mon, May 2 6:00 pm @ Pittsburgh
16. Wed, May 4 11:30 am @ Pittsburgh
17. Thu, May 5 7:00 pm vs. Washington (CSN+)
18. Fri, May 6 1:20 pm vs. Washington
19. Sat, May 7 3:00 pm vs. Washington
20. Mon, May 9 7:00 pm vs. San Diego
21. Wed, May 11 7:00 pm vs. San Diego
22. Sun, May 15 1:20 pm vs. Pittsburgh
23. Tue, May 17 7:00 pm @ Milwaukee
24. Thu, May 19 12:30 pm @ Milwaukee
25. Mon, May 23 7:00 pm @ St. Louis
26. Tue, May 24 7:00 pm @ St. Louis
27. Fri, May 27 1:20 pm vs. Philadelphia
28. Wed, June 1 7:00 pm vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
29. Thu, June 2 1:20 pm vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
30. Fri, June 3 1:20 pm vs. Arizona
31. Sun, June 5 1:20 pm vs. Arizona
32. Mon, June 6 6:00 pm @ Philadelphia
33. Wed, June 8 12:00 pm @ Philadelphia
34. Fri, June 10 6:30 pm @ Atlanta
35. Sat, June 11 3:00 pm @ Atlanta
36. Mon, June 13 6:00 pm @ Washington
37. Sun, June 19 1:20 pm vs. Pittsburgh
38. Mon, June 20 7:00 pm vs. St. Louis
39. Thu, June 23 6:00 pm @ Miami
40. Fri, June 24 6:00 pm @ Miami
41. Tue, June 28 6:00 pm @ Cincinnati
42. Thu, June 30 6:00 pm @ New York Mets
43. Tue, July 5 1:20 pm vs. Cincinnati
44. Wed, July 6 1:20 pm vs. Cincinnati
45. Fri, July 8 6:00 pm @ Pittsburgh
46. Fri, July 15 1:20 pm vs. Texas
47. Tue, July 19 7:00 pm vs. New York Mets
48. Fri, July 22 7:00 pm @ Milwaukee (CSN+)
49. Tue, July 26 7:00 pm @ White Sox
50. Thu, July 28 7:00 pm vs. White Sox
51. Fri, July 29 1:20 pm vs. Seattle
52. Sat, July 30 1:20 pm vs. Seattle
53. Sun, July 31 1:20 pm vs. Seattle
54. Tue, Aug 2 7:00 pm vs. Miami (CSN+)
55. Wed, Aug 3 1:20 pm vs. Miami
56. Fri, Aug 5 9:00 pm @ Oakland (CSN+)
57. Sat, Aug 6 3:00 pm @ Oakland
58. Wed, Aug 10 7:00 pm vs. Los Angeles Angels (CSN+)
59. Thu, Aug 11 7:00 pm vs. St. Louis
60. Sun, Aug 14 1:20 pm vs. St. Louis
61. Wed, Aug 17 7:00 pm vs. Milwaukee
62. Thu, Aug 18 1:20 pm vs. Milwaukee
63. Fri, Aug 19 7:30 pm @ Colorado
64. Sat, Aug 20 7:00 pm @ Colorado
65. Mon, Aug 22 9:00 pm @ San Diego
66. Tue, Aug 23 9:00 pm @ San Diego
67. Sun, Aug 28 3:00 pm @ Los Angeles Dodgers
68. Mon, Aug 29 7:00 pm vs. Pittsburgh
69. Wed, Aug 31 7:00 pm vs. Pittsburgh
70. Thu, Sept 1 7:00 pm vs. San Francisco (CSN+)
71. Sat, Sept 3 1:20 pm vs. San Francisco
72. Tue, Sept 6 7:00 pm @ Milwaukee (CSN+)
73. Wed, Sept 7 7:00 pm @ Milwaukee
74. Sun, Sept 11 1:00 pm @ Houston
75. Mon, Sept 12 7:00 pm @ St. Louis
76. Thu, Sept 15 7:00 pm vs. Milwaukee
77. Fri, Sept 16 1:20 pm vs. Milwaukee
78. Mon, Sept 19 7:00 pm vs. Cincinnati
79. Tue, Sept 20 7:00 pm vs. Cincinnati
80. Sat, Sept 24 1:20 pm vs. St. Louis
81. Sun, Sept 25 1:20 pm vs. St. Louis
82. Mon, Sept 26 6:00 pm @ Pittsburgh
83. Tue, Sept 27 6:00 pm @ Pittsburgh
84. Wed, Sept 28 6:00 pm @ Pittsburgh
85. Fri, Sept 30 6:00 pm @ Cincinnati
86. Sat, Oct 1 3:00 pm @ Cincinnati

86 Regular Season Games – 45 home, 41 away

Schedule Subject to Change
All Times Central Time

 

ICYMI: The Bears lose a shootout, the Bulls drop their home-opener and the Blackhawks

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USA TODAY

ICYMI: The Bears lose a shootout, the Bulls drop their home-opener and the Blackhawks

It was a busy weekend for Chicago sports fans, from the Bulls' home-opener, to two Blackhawks games and a shootout at Soldier Field between the Bears and Patriots.

Bears

The Bears came a yard away on a Hail Mary pass from forcing overtime, ultimately losing a 38-31 shootout to the Patriots and showing they still have much to prove. Mitchell Trubisky said that there is a new standard and that coming up short is not good enough anymore.

While Trubisky's accuracy was uneven Sunday, he showed continued development, throwing for 300+ yards for the third straight game. He also scored on a nifty eight-yard rushing touchdown in which he covered 71.9 yards of distance.

While the Bears struggled to contain the Patriots' offense and recorded just one sack, the defense is still confident in the unit and team overall. 

Bulls

Off the court, Denzel Valentine suffered a setback on his injured left ankle and will be reevaluated in two weeks. On the court, the Bulls' defense cost them Saturday against the Pistons, but especially late on Ish Smith's game-winning basket for the Pistons.

With Kris Dunn on paternity leave, the Bulls signed guard Shaquille Harrison and waived center Omer Asik. The move comes on the heels of Fred Hoiberg saying potential lineup changes are "still up in the air." 

The Bulls also announced three broadcasters that will call the first five road games minus-longtime play-by-play man Neil Funk. Funk is cutting 20 road games from his schedule this season.

Blackhawks

Corey Crawford picked up his first win since Dec. 17, 2017, leading the Blackhawks to victory in vintage fashion. The Blackhawks were outshot 28-15 through two periods, and Crawford stood tall en route to a 4-1 Blackhawks' win.

Following his return from a major injury, the Blackhawks will monitor Crawford's workload moving forward. 

Meanwhile, in Columbus, Blue Jackets forward Anthony Duclair regrets not making the most of his stint with the Blackhawks last season. Also, the Blue Jackets and Blackhawks are both experiencing challenges as a result of the Brandon Saad-Artemi Panarin trade from last summer.

Unfortunately for the Blackhawks, they set an NHL record and tied a franchise record (confusing, we know) by allowing 33 shots on goal during the second period Sunday. The Blackhawks ultimately fell 6-3, though Alexandre Fortin scored his first career NHL goal in the process.

Glanville: Fall to Spring - A player’s offseason changes meaning with each changing season

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USA TODAY

Glanville: Fall to Spring - A player’s offseason changes meaning with each changing season

A few weeks after the we (the Cubs) were eliminated from the 2003 playoffs, I got a phone call from my college professor. Since it was officially the off-season, I was in the early stages of a break from following a pocket schedule to tell me where to be every day for nearly eight months.

But this was a man I could not refuse. I chose my college major to go into his field of transportation engineering and he was calling because he needed a teaching assistant to accompany him on his trip to South Africa.

One minute I could barely move off of my couch in my Chicago apartment after losing Game 7 against the Marlins. The next minute, I would be standing within miles of the Southern most point in Africa at the Cape of Good Hope. Why not? I needed the distraction so I agreed to go.

The offseason is its own transition. Leaving the regimen of routine, of batting practice and bus times, to an open ended world that you have to re-learn again. When I finished my first full major league season in 1997, I lived in Streeterville at the Navy Pier Apartments.

That offseason, I decided to stay an extra month in Chicago only to wake up panicked for the first two weeks because I thought I was missing stretch time for a home day game. A major league schedule becomes etched in your DNA after a while.

It is also a time that you get to reflect. The regular season does not give you a moment to really get perspective on what was just accomplished, what it all means, what you would change. I always joked about the T-shirt I wanted to a sell that listed all of the things a major league player figures out during the off-season. From the perfect swing to the ex-girlfriend you need to un-break-up with next week.

It all becomes so clear when a 96 MPH fastball isn’t coming at you.

For years, I would arrange a training program to follow, but I quickly learned that I had to mix it up. There was only so much repetition I could stand in the off-season. So some years, I moved to the site of spring training and worked out early with the staff, other years I found a spot at home where I grew up or wherever I played during the season, to train.

I was single when I played, but now with a family, I have a better understanding of the challenges my teammates would express as they were re-engaging as a daily father again after this long absentee existence.

To keep it fresh and spicy, when I got older in the game, I enrolled in a dance studio and took a winter of dance lessons. Salsa, Foxtrot, Rumba, you name it. On Thursdays we had to dance for an hour straight, changing partners in the room every song change. Dancing with the Stars had nothing on me.

Of course, not every offseason is fun and games. There were years when I wasn’t sure I would have a job the next year, or I was in the throes of a trade rumor. In 1997, I was traded from the Cubs to the Phillies two days before Christmas. In 2002, my father passed away on the last game of the season, leading the offseason to be a time of mourning.

By my final season in 2005, I thought I was officially on my couch forever. I was going to fade away into oblivion like many players do. No fanfare, the phone just would stop ringing and I would just let the silence wash over me. The Yankees had called earlier in that off-season, acting like they were doing me a favor which I turned down, then they called back later with a more open tone, seeing me as a potential key piece in their outfield with Bernie Williams slowing down quite a bit at that point.

I did get off that couch for that call, only to get released the last week of camp, so I was back on the couch, with a fiancé and some extra salt in the wounds after that final meeting with Brian Cashman and Joe Torre, who boxed me into the coaches office to tell me I was released. Released? Come on. Never had that happen before.

The Cubs players will go through all of this if they have the good fortune of playing a long time. The wave of uncertainty, the meaning of age in this game spares no one. Each offseason is a time to reset, a period where you get away, seemingly adrift from the game, then as spring gets closer, the shoreline comes up in the horizon once again, magnetically drawing you to its shores for another season.

Amazingly, you don’t always know your age and what it has done to your body. 34 can’t be that old, right? I can still run, or throw 95. Then those 23-year-olds in camp are the wake up call, or maybe you are that 23-year-old and can’t believe your locker is next to Ryne Sandberg’s.

Then you blink, and you are advising Jimmy Rollins about etiquette and realize you have become that guy, the seasoned vet, preaching about locker room respect.

For the 2018 Cubs, they fell short of their goal to repeat their 2016 magic. Failed to meet their singular destination that meant success over all else. Yet, those who come back for 2019, will not be the same player, the same person, that left the locker room at the close this season. They will have grown, changed, aged, wizened up, rehabbed, hardened. All of which means that new perspective is the inevitable part of this time off, whether you like it or not.

Baseball is a game that has this unique dynamic. The highest intensity rhythm of any sport. Every day you are tested. You are pushed to the brink by sheer attrition. According to my teammate Ed Smith, who was playing third base at the time when Michael Jordan reached third, Jordan, after playing well over 100 games in a row, said to him “Man, I have never been this tired in my entire life.”

The grind.

Then it stops on a dime. Season over. Only on baseball’s terms.

But you may be granted another spring. Another crack at it. Until one day, the baseball winter never ends and its time for you to plant your own spring.