That's More Like It, and Open Thread: Cubs vs. Reds, Thursday 4/5, 11:35 CT

When BCB first started, I tried to write recaps of night games at night, right after they ended... and it turned out to be too much to do, especially with an early day game like today's.

So, this is what you'll find, most of the time when there's a game in a few hours as there is this morning - a combined recap/game thread.

And much has happened since last night -- not only did the Cubs win, 4-1 over the Reds, on a night better suited for football, but MLB and inDemand reached a deal to keep Extra Innings on digital cable.

Which means that Jessica owes me two more Big Gulps.

Well, of course, this deal means more than just Big Gulps for me. This is excellent news for all of us who have digital cable and didn't want to switch our entire service just to get EI. The games are, according to the above link, already available, and at this time, they're not going to be available on Dish Network. Here's what finally made this deal possible:

As part of the agreement, iN Demand and DirecTV each will receive about 16 percent equity in the new network, a person familiar with the deal said, speaking on condition of anonymity because that detail wasn't announced. Under the original agreement, DirecTV was to be a 20 percent owner.

In Demand will make the "Extra Innings" package available to other cable companies, which also would be required to carry the MLB channel. Baseball is willing to resume negotiate with Echostar's Dish Network, baseball spokesman Rich Levin said, but DirecTV president Chase Carey said he anticipated for now that his company would be an exclusive satellite carrier.

inDemand's EI website doesn't have a signup page or schedule yet, and I just checked my digital channels (I have Comcast) and don't see a schedule yet, but I assume they will have one up later on today.

Good news for all, and pressure from Congress, and from we the fans, helped make this deal possible.

And, last night's Cubs game was, we hope, a sign of the rest of the season to come. Ted Lilly threw seven excellent innings (101 pitches, 70 strikes, one walk, nine strikeouts) and Bob Howry and Ryan Dempster came on to do their respective jobs; Mark DeRosa had two hits and Aramis Ramirez three, the Cubs drew SIX of those base-clogging walks, and all in all, it was exactly the way all of us had envisioned positive things for the ballclub this year.

I still cringe when I see a ball hit Cliff Floyd's way, though. I haven't heard yet, but I'm pretty sure you'll see Matt Murton out there this afternoon. Incidentally, the lineup Bruce Miles had sent me yesterday was changed before game time, as you know from Bruce's post just before the game started. Ryan Theriot got in the game anyway, late, in left field, and even he had some trouble out there, though that was, more likely, due to the swirling winds and 39-degree temperatures.

Now, there's a game coming up in just a few hours, so let's move onward!

Today's Starting Pitchers
Jason Marquis
J. Marquis
Cubs
vs. Kyle Lohse
K. Lohse
Reds
14-16 W-L 5-10
6.02 ERA 5.83
96 SO 97
75 BB 44
35 HR 15
vs. Cin -- vs. Cubs

pitcher stats are 2006 season stats

Ah, yes. Jason Marquis. The guy who has probably had more angst spilled on this site this offseason than any other new Cub acquisition.

And yes, those 2006 stats look pretty brutal. But take a look at the numbers for his opponent today -- not that much better. Marquis had a decent spring, and the cold temperatures today ought to help him.

MLB.com Mediacenter for Thursday; the game is on CSN Chicago, and the usual radio outlets.

MLB.com Gameday

Finally, Jerry Colangelo is already starting to get the ball rolling to try to get a group together to buy the Cubs:

Former Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks owner Jerry Colangelo reiterated his interest in buying the Cubs during a radio interview Wednesday and said he plans to meet with new Tribune Co. owner Sam Zell when Colangelo visits Chicago next week. "I'm planning to meet with Sam Zell and get acquainted," Colangelo said. "We've never met before. I know quite a bit about him. He's been very, very successful, and I think it's appropriate to at least start my process in terms of getting to know him a little bit."
Colangelo may have put the Diamondbacks into deep debt during his ownership there -- but they won. We'd all take that, right?

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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