Peanut butter and jelly. Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. Jimmy McNulty and the Bunk. The Cubs and WGN.
It’s sounding like that final famous pairing will be together for a little longer, as the Cubs and WGN-TV have come to a multi-year agreement that could be announced this week, according to Bruce Levine. The deal will include 45 games.
However, games will only be shown locally — they will not be shown on WGN America throughout the country — and it isn’t clear yet which areas outside Chicago will receive the games. (So maybe this partnership is kind of like the season of “The Wire” when McNulty sobers up and settles down.)
Patrick Mooney writes that the WGN agreement likely will run through 2019, aligning it with the recent ABC deal and the Comcast SportsNet contract.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens after 2019. Will the Cubs sign a mega cable deal? Or will cable be irrelevant at that point, leading to an online/streaming type service (as Michael Canter wrote about last month)? Time will tell.
Bleacher contingency plan
Levine also writes that details about a bleacher seating relocation plan will be revealed at the Cubs Convention later this month.
The Cubs had first announced in November that the bleachers may not be ready for Opening Night, and that as many as 3,000 fans may need to be relocated.
I can’t imagine the recent weather will help the renovation process. If it continues for most of the winter, I wonder how long into the season it will be before the bleachers are ready.
* It sounds like we can cross Stephen Drew off the Cubs’ list. Jon Heyman is reporting that the Yankees are finalizing a one-year deal with the veteran infielder. Despite the rumored interest by the Cubs, I would’ve been surprised if Drew came to Chicago. It may be for the best, as he was pretty awful at the plate last season, hitting only .162.
* Four players were elected to MLB’s Hall of Fame yesterday: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Craig Biggio. None of the four was a huge surprise, although I wasn’t sure Biggio would make it. Former Cub Sammy Sosa received only 6.6 percent, making it pretty clear he most likely will never make it into the Hall.