Among the open questions about Spring Training Part Two, given its unique circumstances: are teams going to play any Spring Training games?
Today, MLB answered that question with a “they may.” It figures to be at the end of the ramp-up period, and just a few games:
MLB told clubs today they will be permitted to schedule up to three exhibition games before the end of Spring Training 2.0. If a club is not located near any potential opponents, it can schedule games against its initial regular-season opponent in days leading to Opening Day.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 25, 2020
I’d been thinking around five games (one for each of your typical starting pitchers), but either way, it was never going to be a lot of games. Reduce potential exposures as much as you can.
For the Cubs, you’d have to figure this will mean three exhibition games against the White Sox, whom the Cubs will also play six times in the regular season (a full tenth of the schedule!). Get ready for a whole lotta Cubs-Sox this year!
Earlier today, Crane Kenney hinted on The Score that the Cubs may want to broadcast these games on Marquee, and indeed may hope to get a carriage deal done with Comcast in advance of those games. So maybe look for Cubs-Sox exhibition games around July 17-21, somewhere in that window? And maybe also look for those games to be on Marquee, which will maybe finally have a deal in place with Comcast?