CSN announces 2012 Cubs season on-aironline coverage details

CSN announces 2012 Cubs season on-aironline coverage details

COMCAST SPORTSNET ANNOUNCES 2012 CHICAGO CUBS COVERAGE

80 Regular Season Games, including exclusive coverage of first home game vs. Boston Red Sox on June 15;
Plus Cubs Pre-Game Live now airing at 6:30 PM prior to EVERY 7:00 PM start time this season;
Exclusive Cubs content 247 on CSNChicago.com, Every Home and Road Game in HD;
Crosstown Classic action vs. White Sox and much more!

Chicago, IL (March 21, 2012) Comcast SportsNet, the television home for the most games and most comprehensive coverage of 2011 MLB All-Star2011 NL hits leader Starlin Castro, plus Alfonso Soriano, Marlon Byrd, newcomer David DeJesus, Ryan Dempster, Matt Garza, Kerry Wood, Carlos Marmol, new manager Dale Sveum and the rest of the 2012 Chicago Cubs, has announced its Cubs telecast schedule and accompanying on-air network coverage and online coverage on CSNChicago.com.

The 2012 Cubs season on Comcast SportsNet includes 80 live regular season games with the first telecast taking place on Saturday, April 7 at 12 NOON as the Cubs host the Washington Nationals live from Wrigley Field, featuring the Cubs announcing tandem of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly on the call. Live coverage begins at 11:00 AM with an expanded LIVE REMOTE edition of Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live from Wrigley Field featuring Comcast SportsNets Cubs studio duo of David Kaplan and Todd Hollandsworth. The game will be immediately followed by an expanded edition of Cubs Post Game Live, also live from Wrigley Field.

Beginning this season, Cubs fans can look forward to even more editions of Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live as the pre-game show will now include half-hour airings prior to every 7:00 PM game telecast. Select airings of Cubs Pre-Game Live will also take place from around the Wrigleyville area this season.

Game enhancements of note for the 2012 Cubs season include the return of CSNs popular super slo-mo technology entitled The Look, an HD technology that is capable of showing slow-motion replays of over 2,000 frames per second. In addition, fans can look forward to Pitch Trax in all games this season, which animates the precise pitch location throughout the game in a variety of angles, plus CSN will incorporate a Telestrator into select game telecasts this season, detailing key plays, defensive field formations and much more.

In addition to the 80 regular season games, Comcast SportsNet will also air a pair of live Cubs spring training telecasts beginning with a match-up against the two-time defending AL champion Texas Rangers on Thursday, March 22 at 3:00 PM live from Surprise Stadium in Surprise, AZ. The other spring training telecast will air on Saturday, March 31 at 3:00 PM, as the Cubs host the LA Angels from HoHoKam Park in Mesa, AZ.

Among the 2012 Cubs regular season schedule highlights on Comcast SportsNet include the first game of the Cubs highly-anticipated home series against the Boston Red Sox (Fri, June 15). Other key games on CSNs schedule this season include seven contests against the NL Central rivaldefending World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals, including the first home game on Mon, Apr. 23; the first road game vs. Carlos Zambrano, Mark Buehrle, manager Ozzie Guillen and the Miami Marlins on Tue, Apr. 17 (CSN will also air the first home game vs. Miami on July 17), plus two interleague battles against Prince Fielder and the defending AL Central champion Detroit Tigers (June 12 & 14) and numerous NL Central battles against division rivals Milwaukee (8 games) and Cincinnati (9 games). Also, Comcast SportsNet will carry five of the six Cubs-White Sox Crosstown Classic interleague games this year. NOTE: the May 18 & June 19 Crosstown games will be Cubs telecasts on Comcast SportsNet, while the May 18, June 18 & 20 games will be White Sox telecasts.

For the eighth-straight season, the announcing tandem of Len Kasper and Bob Brenly return to provide the play-by-play and game analysis for every Cubs game this season on Comcast SportsNet. Plus, Comcast SportsNets David Kaplan will be joined by former Cubs & MLB standoutstudio analyst Todd Hollandsworth before and after the majority of Comcast SportsNet Cubs telecasts on Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live and Cubs Post Game Live.

From an online perspective, Comcast SportsNets website, CSNChicago.com, delivers comprehensive 247 Cubs coverage all season long, including the following highlights:

Live stream of manager Dale Sveums postgame press conferences
Cubs Insider Patrick Mooney (@CSNMooney) will attend home and away games, filing daily stories and video, as well as up-to-the-minute news via Twitter, to bring fans closer to the team. He will also make appearances on Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live, Chicago Tribune Live and SportsNet Central throughout the season.
New-look Cubs team page offers the latest news, articles, player interviews, video, stats and more around the clock.
Cubs Talk will offer news, views and analysis from Cubs blogger Tony Andracki, Mooney, Cubs PrePost Game Live host David Kaplan (@thekapman) and Cubs analyst Todd Hollandsworth.
Weekly series preview video presented by BMO Harris

For the fifth-straight season, Comcast SportsNet will produce every Cubs regular season home and road game in a high-definition (HD) format. HD games can be found on Comcast Cable channel 200 (channel 285 for CSN HD telecasts), RCN channel 685, WOW channel 220, Dish Network channel 429 and DIRECTV HD channel 665-1 (channel 666-1 for CSN HD telecasts). Viewers who do not own an HDTV will still be able to watch all Cubs games in the standard analog format on Comcast Cable channel 37, DIRECTV channel 665 and DISH Network channel 429. Viewers can visit CSNChicago.com for the exact channel number in their area.

Before the majority of Cubs games on Comcast SportsNet (including prior to all 7:00 PM game telecasts this season), fans can tune to Subaru Cubs Pre-Game Live featuring a half-hour of pre-game analysis, interviews and the very latest Cubs news (NOTE: for 6:00 PM game start times, pre-game coverage can be found Chicago Tribune Live presented by Captain Morgan). Following the game, viewers can look forward to the most comprehensive post-game wrap-up show on Cubs Post Game Live featuring live coverage of new Cubs manager Dale Sveums post-game press conferences and live locker room interviews with Cubs players. Following primetime editions of Cubs Post Game Live, Comcast SportsNet will air GMC SportsNet Central with the most complete recap of the days top local and national sports news.

Eight regular season Cubs games are currently scheduled to be telecast on Comcast SportsNet Plus (see attached schedule). Comcast SportsNet Plus (CSN) telecasts are provided to Comcast SportsNet affiliates and distributed to viewers when two live events are scheduled simultaneously. Comcast Cable and RCN subscribers can watch all CSN games on CLTV. Cable and satellite operators who do not carry CLTV will place CSN telecasts on a to-be-determined channel. Viewers can visit CSNChicago.com for the exact channel location of Comcast SportsNet, CSN, Comcast SportsNet HD and CSN HD telecasts in their area.

Why Jimmy Butler wanted Dwyane Wade to sign with Bulls

Why Jimmy Butler wanted Dwyane Wade to sign with Bulls

When Dwyane Wade’s re-signing with the Miami Heat went from a forgone conclusion to a question mark, the Chicago Bulls and Jimmy Butler got involved in a whirlwind courtship that resulted in Friday's all-smiles press conference.

The Bulls came with the tangibles, the respect in the form of $47 million. Butler came with the intangibles—and respect as the two had critical conversations that lead to Wade finally making the leap to trek back home to Chicago after 13 years on the beach.

It was why Wade was so comfortable at his own introductory news conference to cede the spotlight to Butler Friday afternoon, the savvy veteran understanding Butler was in attendance and giving Butler the affirmation he quietly craved in front of a national TV audience.

“Jimmy Butler, everybody! Jimmy, you gonna come out with your muscles out and everything, though? You got oil on...,” Wade said jokingly, motioning to Butler as Butler stood amongst many to the side, having just finished an on-court workout with his trainer.

Wade was reciprocating what Butler had initiated during free agency during those conversations, as the only question there is to be answered is how the two will mesh on the floor as opposed to the assumption of clashing personalities.

“Just what we can do if we were to play basketball together. I said look man, I’m okay with whatever role you want me to play,” said Butler to CSNChicago.com in an exclusive interview after Team USA beat Venezuela 80-45 Friday at the United Center, with Wade sitting next to Team USA’s bench. “But we can win games if you’re here with us. So that’s basically how it went.

“I was telling him, of all the things that have been said, I’m here to win. I don’t care what role I’m supposed to play, whose team it is, you come here, we’ll win games.”

[SHOP: Gear up, Bulls fans!]

Free agent acquisitions Wade and Rajon Rondo have openly said Butler is the first name on the basketball masthead, but Butler has termed them “the three Alphas”. Regardless of what Butler has said before publicly about not being concerned with his standing in the locker room of the Chicago Bulls, he’s feeling more and more comfortable with the position of leadership—perhaps emboldened by the validation of the two.

“Outside of all of that, all anybody wants is to be wanted,” Butler said. “He wants me to step up and lead. He wants this to be my team. Just like I wanted him for my team. That mutual respect, us being honest with each other like that, that’s where it starts. That’s the foundation.”

Establishing a pecking order is easier when the players who see this version of Jimmy Butler only know this version of Butler. The player who has evolved into an All-Star and Olympian, not necessarily the 30th pick in the 2011 NBA Draft.

Both attributes are true, but there’s something to be said about initial impressions and how they stick.

“Moving forward, I’m gonna do my best, whatever it takes to help us win games,” Butler said. “I don’t think people understand how serious I am when I say I want to (freaking) win a championship. I’m not playing.”

Rondo and Wade have the championship receipts, so it’s unlikely they’ll allow Butler to go unchecked if his methods aren’t parallel with his words. Given the appointed title Butler gave the three, it doesn’t sound like they would let him slide regardless.

“That’s what I wanted him here, that’s why I wanted Rondo here,” Butler said. “Because they’ve done it, they know what it takes. I want them to show me. If I’m not listening, make me listen.”

When told he could be bullheaded and stubborn, Butler agreed.

“I agree, I can (be). Fine. It only makes me better,” Butler said. “If you’re on my tail all the time it only makes me better. I want that. I like that. If I’m (messing) around, you tell me, you let me know, you’re better than that. You’re right. I’m gonna respond in a positive manner and I’m gonna do what I’m supposed to be doing.”

[RELATED: Third time's a charm as Dwyane Wade embraces Bulls and Jimmy Butler as leader]

Butler used a lot of “my team” and “my guys” but one can surmise it’s less about ownership and possessiveness compared to investment—the sweat equity that earns his respect and admiration more than any single attribute.

“I respect a lot of things but I think your confidence comes from your work,” Butler said. “I’m a firm believer in that. I’m successful because of that. I just put in the time. I know these guys put in the time.”

“I respect that s**t. I’m going to war with you everyday when I know in my heart that your best interest is to help us win. I’m all about that.”

Whether Butler felt some of his old teammates were moving all tides in the same direction, he wouldn’t say—and the former Bulls probably wouldn’t on elaborate on their feelings, either.

“I think man, it was a lot of mixes of everything,” he said. “We weren’t winning games we wanted to win. We were in and out the lineup, so many guys.

“I don’t wanna use any excuses but that had something to do with it. We have a whole new team, we gotta move forward. I’m happy for those new guys, I want them to be successful on their new team.”

But he admits last season was one to learn from, and falls back on the work that he hopes will lead to others following willingly.

“You grow. You learn. You grow. I’m six years into this thing,” Butler said. “I’ve made a name for myself. I’ve done a lot with basketball since I started. I think I’m only gonna start to get better. I pray I only continue to get better because I do work. I really do work.”

Preview: Arrieta, Cubs look to stay hot vs. Mariners today on CSN

Preview: Arrieta, Cubs look to stay hot vs. Mariners today on CSN

Jake Arrieta and the Cubs look to stay hot against the Mariners today, and you can catch all the action on Comcast SportsNet. Coverage begins with Cubs Pregame Live at 12:30 p.m. Then catch first pitch with Len Kasper and Jim Deshaies. Be sure to stick around after the final out to get analysis and player reaction on Cubs Postgame Live.

Starting pitching matchup: Wade Miley (6-8, 5.23 ERA) vs. Jake Arrieta (12-4, 2.76 ERA)

Click here for a game preview to make sure you’re ready for the action.  

[SHOP CUBS: Get your Cubs gear right here]

— Channel finder: Make sure you know where to watch.

— Latest on the Cubs: All of the most recent news and notes.

— See what fans are talking about before, during and after the game with Cubs Pulse.

White Sox lose third straight, fall to Twins in 12 innings

White Sox lose third straight, fall to Twins in 12 innings

MINNEAPOLIS -- Now that he’s an All-Star, Jose Quintana feels more responsibility for the well-being of the White Sox, if that’s even possible.

Too bad his teammates haven’t held up their end.

On Friday night, Quintana continued a superb run since he returned from his first All-Star Game with nine strikeouts. But the White Sox couldn’t match their pitcher’s confidence as the offense produced six hits and the bullpen faltered late in a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Twins in 12 innings in front of 23,983 at Target Field. Tommy Kahnle’s bases-loaded walk of Joe Mauer sent the White Sox, who were without Todd Frazier, to their third straight loss. Their record dropped to 50-53.

“After (the All-Star Game), I feel more confidence in me and more responsibility for my team, too,” Quintana said. “We have good players, a good rotation, everybody is throwing good and good hitters. But sometimes you see tough games like tonight.”

Quintana has been outstanding in three starts since he earned his first-ever All-Star nod earlier this month. He didn’t take long to establish that fact on Friday after the first two batters reached on a double and an error, striking out Minnesota’s 3-4-5 hitters to escape the jam. Starting with those strikeouts, Quintana retired 13 of 15 batters into the sixth inning.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

While he allowed the Twins to tie it at 1 with a run in the sixth, Quintana escaped a potential game-changing jam. Adam Eaton offered assistance when he threw Miguel Sano out at home on Kennys Vargas’s game-tying RBI single. But Quintana stranded a pair in scoring position when he struck out Eduardo Escobar. He retired two more in the seventh before handing the game over to the bullpen.

Since the All-Star break, Quintana has a 0.93 ERA over 19 1/3 innings in three starts. He has allowed 16 hits and two runs with five walks and 20 strikeouts. Even so, Quintana often goes unrewarded for his effort as his 8-8 record would indicate.

“I stood in on a lot of his bullpens when I was coming back,” said veteran Jusin Morneau, who went 1-for-3 in his first regular season game at Target Field since 2013. “You could just stand there because you didn’t have to worry about him missing his spot too often. He can throw pretty hard and throw where he wants to. It’s unfortunate we don’t score more runs when he’s out there because he could easily be 14 and whatever the way he’s throwing the ball. He’s an important part of this team.”

Another key cog, Frazier was scratched with flu-like symptoms before first pitch. He was only available in an emergency, manager Robin Ventura said. Without Frazier, the White Sox looked listless against Ricky Nolasco, who completed eight innings for the first time since 2014.

Eaton -- who had two outfield assists and has 16 this season -- led off the game with a 451-foot solo homer off Nolasco. From there Nolasco settled down and retired 15 of 17 into the sixth inning. Morneau’s second-inning single just missed being a solo homer. But aside from that, the White Sox did little well.

[RELATED: Robin Ventura doesn't want to see Sale or Quintana traded]

They had a promising chance wiped out in the seventh inning after a leadoff double by Melky Cabrera as Nolasco struck out Jose Abreu and retired Morneau and Dioner Navarro.

Nolasco allowed a run and three hits with six strikeouts in eight innings.

The bullpen then shut the White Sox down for four more innings. Dan Jennings took over in the bottom of the 12th and hit one batter and walked another. Kahnle took over and walked Brian Dozier and Mauer to end the game.

“You feel like you gave it to ‘em,” Ventura said. “We’ve been struggling anyway. But I think with his breaking ball, (Nolasco) just had us fishing for strikes. … It seemed like we were chasing stuff all night.

“All (losses) hurt. But when you’re only chalking up one run and guys are going out and pitching pretty good, that’s the one that hurts.”