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Cubs vs. Indians at Mesa and Cubs vs. Mets at Las Vegas Preview, Sunday 3/16, 3:05 CT

Half of the Cubs are still in Vegas. The other half returns to Cubs Park for a televised game.

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Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODA

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona -- Today's game in Mesa will be televised by CSN Chicago with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. That's not unusual, but this is:

Comcast SportsNet continues its weekend festivities Sunday afternoon by airing the Cubs-Indians game commercial-free. The special broadcast begins at 3 p.m.

Instead of commercials, CSN will air several features throughout the game, including interviews with top prospect Kris Bryant, new manager Rick Renteria and a group of other players including pitchers Jason Hammel, Chris Rusin and Edwin Jackson.

Sounds interesting. There are details of some of the other features at the link.

This article about parking at and near Cubs Park talks about the shopping center east of the park first allowing, then not allowing, fans to park there during games.

I can tell you that Mesa Riverview, the shopping complex, is a LONG walk from the park -- almost a mile. They really should be encouraging parking there, because it would encourage pre- or post-game business there, especially at the multiple restaurants in the complex.

Traffic and parking has been an issue at Cubs Park -- late-arriving fans have been waiting in line for up to 30 minutes just to get into the parking lot east of the park, from what I've heard. The Mesa folks ought to copy this idea:

Tempe Marketplace, about a mile and a half west of the stadium, offers free baseball parking and runs a free stadium trolley to and from the Thirsty Lion restaurant six hours every game day.

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the Cubs will be the "away" team and bat first.

Cubs lineup in Mesa:

Bonifacio SS, Lake CF, Valbuena 2B, Olt DH, Baker C, Roberts 1B, Valaika 3B, Vitters LF, Jackson RF

Mike Olt, still not playing third base.

Indians lineup:

Cabrera DH, Johnson SS, Santana 3B, Gomes C, Francoeur LF, Aviles SS, Carson RF, Adams 1B, Rohlinger 2B

The Indians team the Cubs will face today is a split squad. Most of their regulars are in Scottsdale facing the Giants.

Cubs lineup in Las Vegas:

Barney SS, Kalish RF, Sweeney DH, Murphy 2B, Kottaras C, Bryant 3B, Coghlan LF, Vogelbach 1B, Szczur CF

Mets lineup:

Young DH, Lagares CF, Wright 3B, Granderson RF, d'Arnaud C, Nieuwenhuis LF, Lutz 1B, Flores 2B, Seratelli SS

Travis Wood starts for the Cubs in Mesa. Also scheduled: James Russell, Neil Ramirez, Hector Rondon and Arodys Vizcaino.

Justin Masterson gets the call for the Tribe.

Chris Rusin starts for the Cubs in Las Vegas. Also scheduled: Alberto Cabrera, Marcus Hatley, Brian Schlitter and Armando Rivero.

Jenrry Mejia will start for the Mets. Also scheduled: Carlos Torres and Rafael Montero.

There is no radio or TV coverage of today's game in Las Vegas.

See the note above regarding television coverage of today's game (which is also online at MLB.TV, if you have a subscription). It will also be on with Mick Gillispie. Gameday for Cubs/Indians Gameday for Cubs/Mets

Here is the complete Mediacenter for today.

For spring-training games, we'll have a first-pitch thread at game time and one overflow thread, 90 minutes after game time (because I know how you all like overflow threads!). For today's games, that will be 3 p.m. CT and 4:30 p.m. CT (there won't be separate threads for the two games, just use these). These threads will not post individually onto the front page; instead, you can find links to them in the box marked "Chicago Cubs Game Threads" at the bottom of the front page. They will also appear in this StoryStream™. The pitcher box and regular-season stats will return on Opening Day.

Discuss amongst yourselves.