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Light At The End Of The TV Blackout Tunnel: Cubs vs. Cardinals, Wednesday 5/20, 7:15 CT

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The owners are meeting this week and maybe, just maybe, you'll see the beginnings of lifting of the ridiculous blackouts:

But the biggest item on the agenda that could be dealt with remains the issue of MLB television territories at the local and regional level. The hodge-podge and arcane mapping of the country has come into play when coupled with MLB’s blackout policy. According to multiple sources, the owners will address the issue, which has been tabled repeatedly over the course of the last two years.

According to a proposal by MLB President and COO, Bob DuPuy, owners risk losing a geographic area of a territory they currently are claiming if they have not broadcast into that area for at least one season, thus lifting the blackout restriction for that geographic location.

"I see no reason why there ought to be so many clubs able to black out in those territories," DuPuy said in August of 2008. "That’s my intention. That’s my goal. I didn’t get any pushback. The whole thing is about making the game more popular and available."

Let's hope this starts now. It's way past time.

If you're wondering why Carlos Zambrano's numbers weren't very good in his rehab start, here's your answer:

"He said he threw only fastballs and was just trying to build up a little arm strength and make sure his leg was fine," Chicago manager Lou Piniella said Tuesday. "He said he's ready to go."

Z will start on Friday in San Diego.

Miscellaneous baseball notes: you think the Cubs are having trouble hitting? The Mets haven't hit a home run in 60 innings. And if they do? Well, it might come under replay review; here's an interesting article about the review system.

Today's Starting Pitchers
Ryan Dempster
Ryan Dempster
Cubs
vs. Chris Carpenter
Chris Carpenter
Cardinals
3-2 W-L 1-0
4.65 ERA 0.00
46 SO 9
21 BB 2
7 HR 0
vs. StL -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2009 - Ryan Dempster 3-2 8 8 0 0 0 0 50.1 44 27 26 7 21 46 4.65 1.29

Chris Carpenter's extended stat line is currently unavailable; he got off to a good start this year in his first two outings before suffering a non-arm-related oblique injury. Those can be tough to come back from, but supposedly he's ready to go. His particular Cub nemesis is Alfonso Soriano (12-for-28, a double, 2 HR). He is 7-3, 3.08 lifetime vs. the Cubs.

Ryan Dempster has already started twice vs. St. Louis this year, getting no-decisions in a Cubs win on April 18 and a Cubs loss on April 24. He threw six innings both times. He'll need to step it up a little more tonight. Dempster will be happy to not have to face Ryan Ludwick tonight -- Ludwick is 8-for-16 lifetime vs. Demp. However, Rick Ankiel, who is supposed to return tonight along with Carpenter, is only 1-for-10 vs. Dempster.

Today's game is being carried by ESPN, for those of you not in the St. Louis or Chicago areas, where it is on the local cable outlets. For today's other games see the MLB.com Mediacenter.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Overflow comment threads will post today at 8:15 pm, 9:15 pm and 10 pm CDT.

Discuss amongst yourselves.