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The SCOREboard: And Now A Word From Our Sponsor

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The Score has sold quite a few sponsorships for Cubs coverage. Plus, a trip to Wrigley Field.

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

I've been mostly unplugged from the Score and other media this past week as I attended three games in person, two at Wrigley and one at Busch Stadium (details below). But I did zero in on this past Saturday's pre-game and took note of just how jam-packed it is... with sponsored segments.

During the course of the half hour hosted by Mark Grote, there were no fewer than 10 sponsored segments, and that does not include overall sponsorship of the show by BBBA Compass (whatever that is).

In order I counted:

  • Ron Coomer sponsored by...
  • Keys to the game sponsored by...
  • Business of baseball sponsored by...
  • Injury report sponsored by..
  • Cubs conversation sponsored by...
  • Joe Maddon sponsored by Loyola Medicine
  • National Anthem sponsored by...(This sponsor really gets shortchanged as they don't even play the anthem, just take note of it.)
  • Pitching matchup sponsored by...
  • Pick to perform sponsored by...
  • Around baseball sponsored by...

Obviously that's a lot of sponsors, averaging three per minute over the half hour. No wonder the whole program seems so rushed. I understand commerce and commercialization, and obviously the Score has to pay its bills and for however much money they're paying the Cubs for radio rights, but I believe the show wouldn't seem so packed with sponsors if it were extended to 45 minutes or perhaps even an hour. Several segments, especially Len Kasper's interview with Chris Bosio and the Cubs conversation, seem too abbreviated. A longer show and it might not just feel like one long commercial.

I attended two games at Wrigley last weekend vs. Colorado without tickets in hand. Going by myself to the Friday game (April 15), I was able to get a field-level seat at the box office for $60. But I was going with a friend on Saturday and there were no two seats available together, so I had to go on the secondary market. I was able to secure to superb seats near the visitors dugout, €”but had to pay $215 apiece through Gold Coast Tickets near the L station. It softened the blow when Jake Arrieta pitched a gem and the Cubs hit several homers in a nice win. I abstained from the $5 water and $9 beer, so I did not have to visit the expanded men's room facilities.

It was my first trip back to the old ballpark in a decade and I must say, I was not bothered a bit by the huge video boards. I liked the additional information and some of the videos provided. So there was no sense that they've "ruined'' Wrigley... except for the prices.

On Sunday I paid $175 on the Blackhawks resale site for two tickets to Game 3 of the playoff series vs. St. Louis. A thrilling atmosphere, even from the high 300 level, but a disappointing loss to the Blues.

On Wednesday, April 20, my brother-in-law and I made the trek from Quincy to St. Louis for the getaway matinee. Even though it is only a 2½ hour drive to Busch, we did not leave enough time for parking and couldn't find an open lot as the 12:45 p.m. gametime approached. Finally we found street parking 12 blocks away, which meant we missed St. Louis' four runs in the first two innings (I've now seen two of the Cubs five losses on the season).

We did catch Anthony Rizzo's monster blast, but did not wait out the three-hour rain delay.

So the Cubs are now 14-5 and I'm 1-2.

One further note on broadcasts as this feature expands a bit. There's been just one Cubs game on ABC7 Chicago so far this year (the next one will be this Saturday. That one game, Opening Night at Anaheim, drew an 8.8 rating, despite starting at 9 p.m. CT. It was No. 1 in its timeslot among adults 18-49. Cubs TV ratings are likely to go through the roof if the team continues to play the way they have been.