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ESPN will be carrying a Cubs spring training game

And you will want to watch.

Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN

The Cubs have noted that they will be carrying 28 spring training games on the Marquee Network, beginning with the spring opener two weeks from Saturday, February 22 against the Athletics at Sloan Park.

The Cubs will play 34 spring games this year. Five of them are split squads, meaning the network won’t be able to carry both games.

That leaves one. And Thursday, ESPN announced that they will be carrying the Cubs game vs. the Angels from Sloan Park Monday, March 2.

The network bills this as featuring “Mike Trout and the Angels” against the Cubs, but the real interest for Cubs fans, I’d think, is seeing Joe Maddon’s first game managing against his old squad. It’s likely to be the only game Maddon will manage at a Cubs home ballpark during his three years as Angels skipper. The Angels were at Wrigley Field in 2019, and the two teams won’t meet again until 2022 — but those games are likely to be in Anaheim.

Maddon’s likely to get a well-deserved hero’s welcome at Sloan Park on March 2, and I’m sure the network will cover this, because they are adding what they call their “All-Access” coverage to spring games. Per ESPN:

ESPN “All-Access” documents the complete game day experience for MLB Clubs across its television, digital, and social media platforms. It provides viewers with a special access and behind-the-scenes content throughout the day, including players, managers and executives mic’d up, in-game interviews, features, essays and other content leading up to – and through – the game.

Should be fun. Wouldn’t be surprised if they put a mic on Joe, and maybe David Ross, too.

If you subscribe to ESPN+, the game Monday, March 23 at Sloan Park between the Cubs and Padres will be carried via that service.

Other spring games on the main ESPN channel, all at 12 noon CT:

Tuesday, March 3, Red Sox at Yankees
Wednesday, March 4, Cardinals at Mets
Friday, March 6, Red Sox at Braves