For all the criticism I've directed at WSCR for whiffing on spring training Cub coverage, I feel obligated to point out that the station does have two weekend shows devoted entirely to baseball.
"Inside the Clubhouse," hosted from 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturdays by Bruce Levine and Mike Esposito (sometimes by Levine and Jordan Bernfield), covers not just the Cubs but also the White Sox and the rest of Major League Baseball. If you are a baseball aficionado, it is a must-listen.
And this past weekend, Hit and Run, hosted by Barry Rozner and Joe Ostrowski, joined the Score lineup and will air Sunday mornings up as a companion show, featuring more guests from around the league and a stronger statistical bent than Inside the Clubhouse.
Since I've been following Levine's contributions and Inside the Clubhouse for longer, I decided to take notes and break down the two-hour show that aired this past Saturday, March 26. It was a fairly typical show, featuring a player/guest from both sides of town, Kyle Hendricks of the Cubs and catcher Alex Avila of the Sox.
During the course of the show, at least five promos ran hyping the Score as the new home for Cubs baseball. Most of these run out of the Scoreboard updates that run every half hour during all Score programming.
But the Score's roots as the longtime home of the White Sox run deep and were much evident in the callers that got through on the show. There were four Sox callers and none from the Cubs (the Cubs did get through with two text messages). But Cub callers seem to be outnumbered.
Of the seven segments that I broke down, two were mixed in terms of content featuring both the Cubs and Sox, two were more Sox heavy and three had a stronger Cub focus. Levine, the Score's senior baseball man, seems to go out of his way to be evenhanded with both teams (he splits his time in both camps and typically covers the home team during the regular season).
While there is much to savor in the fast-paced show (this week we learned from Hendricks that David Ross is the funniest man on the Cub roster, and enjoyed an interesting conversation on who will back up Anthony Rizzo at first base, for example), I still expect WSCR to add a "Cubs Weekly'' show similar to the one they did for the Sox. Such a show features highlights from the past week and a few interviews and news nuggets and is pretty much by rote, but I'd still listen to it.
But for now let's be thankful that the Score offers baseball fans, both Cubs and Sox, two entertaining shows devoted to our favorite sport on weekend mornings. Now it's up to Cub fans and Score listeners (and BCB readers) to pick up the phone and start jamming the phone lines to drown out all those displaced Sox fans.