The protocols set up for the 60-game 2020 MLB season included a provision that teams could play up to three exhibition games before the schedule began, if it was feasible travel-wise and otherwise.
With the Cubs and White Sox in the same city, this seemed a logical choice and the clubs will play two games — Sunday, July 19 at 7:05 p.m. at Wrigley Field and Monday, July 20 at Guaranteed Rate Field at 7:10 p.m. The Cubs will also play the Twins Tuesday, July 22 at Wrigley Field at 6:05 p.m. The Twins will be in town to begin the 60-game schedule at the White Sox on Friday.
All three of the Cubs’ exhibition games will be televised live on Marquee Sports Network.
“We are very excited and proud to bring Cubs fans live baseball again.” said Marquee Sports Network GM Mike McCarthy in a statement. “These three pre-season games will lead us nicely into the day everyone is waiting for—the Cubs’ opener on July 24, which will also be on our network.”
Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies will be on the call from the Wrigley Field booth for all the exhibition games and field reporter Taylor McGregor will handle in-game duties from inside Wrigley Field for the Cubs’ two home games and inside Guaranteed Rate Field when the team plays at the White Sox. Health and safety protocols will be followed by everyone involved in the broadcast.
Of course, this raises the question again: When will Marquee and Comcast/Xfinity come to an agreement so that the 50+ percent of the Chicago area that subscribes to Comcast (this writer included) can watch games? The Cubs and Marquee seem confident that a deal will be struck; back in March when the season was suspended, they were reported as being “close” to an agreement.
Everything I’ve heard indicates such a deal will be made, even if it comes down to the last minute and even if it doesn’t include the three exhibition games. The Cubs are scheduled to open the 60-game season two weeks from today, Friday, July 24 against the Brewers at Wrigley Field.
As always, we await developments.