Chicago Cubs: Marquee needs more players mic’d up

Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Anthony Rizzo, Kris Bryant (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

ESPN gave Chicago Cubs fans a treat by interviewing Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo throughout their spring matchup against the Halos. Now Marquee needs to continue the trend.

Let me make an uncontroversial statement: baseball games need more players mic’d up during the game. Not just the Chicago Cubs, but all teams need to give more voice to their players to inject more personality into a game that, in terms of its players, is trailing behind other professional sports in popularity.

In a game like baseball where players can have some serious downtime, filling that time with fun mic’d up segments makes all the sense in the world. We caught a glimpse of just how effective this could be during Monday’s game between the Cubs and the Angels when ESPN focused on the North Siders’ dynamic duo: Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo.

Despite being an ultimately meaningless spring training game, it was absolute must-see TV for Cubs fans, with Rizzo and Bryant bantering through most of the game, telling stories, making jokes, and just having a good time in general. It even included a heartfelt moment where former Cubs skipper Joe Maddon joined the two for the mic’d up interview. In short, it was one of the more entertaining Cubs games I’ve watched, and it didn’t even mean anything.

More importantly, it should send a strong message to Marquee Sports Network on how to make Cubs games more enjoyable and how to endear themselves to fans. Now that the team has their network, it should be more comfortable than ever to send one of their reporters down to hear from one of the players while they’re waiting for the lineup to reach them or to wire someone up for some classic mic’d up content.

We’ve seen them do this a bit already (most recently, Ian Happ was given a voice in-game), but to nowhere near the same extent as ESPN did in that game against the Halos. Capturing that dynamic between Bryant and Rizzo demonstrated their personalities and gave viewers something to pay attention to in between at-bats. If you want to inject more life into the game of baseball, this is the way to do it.

Obviously, there will be some limitations once the regular season starts. On-field interviews won’t be possible since players won’t want to be distracted in a game that matters. Yet, ESPN effectively solved this too, interviewing Bryant and Rizzo while they just sat on the bench together.

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The Chicago Cubs, and all of the teams in baseball for that matter, are full of interesting personalities and the best way to capture them is to give them a chance to speak out and be natural. Who doesn’t want to hear their favorite baseball players jabbing at each other and just acting like kids playing a game? Marquee, if you want to start making more in-depth Cubs content, this is an excellent place to start.