Chicago Cubs: Five takeaways from Opening Weekend

Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Kyle Schwarber, Javier Baez (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs
Wrigley Field (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Chicago Cubs: Marquee Network has been solid

Speculation regarding a standalone network devoted to the Cubs has titillated fans for years, and now we finally have it. Better yet, everyone can watch thanks to the 11th hour distribution and carriage deals.

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Still in its infancy, there’s much to be excited about with the Marquee Network so far. Len (Kasper) and JD (Jim Deshaies) are still the same (although they’re wearing ties!), but Taylor McGregor has taken over for Kelly Crull as the field (and empty stands) reporter and Ryan Dempster is joining the booth for a couple of innings during the game to offer stories, insight, and analysis. While Dempster crowds things a bit at times, some of his insight is great and you can tell he gets along well with Kasper and Deshaies.

It may just be me, but my video feed looks clearer, brighter and spectacular. Perhaps I’m projecting what I want it to be after having no baseball for four months, but it the feed and picture really do look good. As a side note, maybe it’s the new jerseys that might be a little brighter as well?

The one wrinkle to iron out for in-game coverage for Marquee is the ever-present box/line score graphic on the screen. While the placement doesn’t seem to be the greatest, I fully realize that it’s a personal preference – but it seems a lot of chatter I hear seems to be for the ESPN or FOX graphics and placement. Hopefully, they tinker with this throughout the season and make it more appealing and more seamless for all the viewers at home. And I do mean “all.”

Hoerner has to be the Cubs' starting second baseman. dark. Next

With their first series and series win under their belt, all that remains for the Cubs to do is keep it up and keep improving, something Ross says is the goal this season. Keep it simple. Looks like the players have responded so far.