The buzz the Cubs created in the off-season and throughout Spring Training translated into “massive year-to-year TV ratings” on Comcast SportsNet.
Comcast SportsNet announced Thursday, the day after the Cubs wrapped up its first winning April in seven years (2008), that the Cubs “posted significant television ratings for the first month of the 2015 MLB season, which resulted in solid game and post-game ratings increases compared to last April.”
The Cubs had a 3.28 average household rating in April, approximately 114,055 Chicago TV households watching per game, a 110% increase over April 2014 (1.56 average). The 3.28 average is the highest on Comcast SportsNet since April 2009 when the team posted a 4.51 average.
The Cubs have also shown a significant ratings increase on WGN-TV this season. The ninth inning come from behind victory in Pittsburgh was the highest rated Cubs telecast on WGN-TV in nearly four years. And WGN-TV saw rating hikes for Cubs games throughout the first month of the season.
According to a report from Jayson Stark, the pace-of-play fines that were to go into effect on May 1 will not be implemented due to the success of MLB’s new pace-of-game rules over the first month of the season.
Jayson Stark spoke to Tony Clark and reported, “The two sides have had dialogue about relaxing or eliminating most of those fines because the results so far have been so good without them.”
The average time of a nine-inning MLB game has decreased more than eight and a half minutes to two hours, 53 minutes and 40 seconds, down from the three hours, two minutes and 21 seconds last season.
Instead of issuing fines, unless there is a “flagrant violation” of the rules, MLB “is likely to continue to monitor games and send letters to players it believes have been in violation.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• According to a report from the Tribune, RHP Pierce Johnson is not close to joining a minor league affiliate. Johnson has been sidelined with a back injury and is still in Arizona.
• The Cubs are being cautious with Albert Almora. Jed Hoyer told the Tribune he could return in 7 to 10 days after being placed on the 7-day DL earlier this week with concussion-like symptoms.
• The Iowa Cubs placed RHP Barret Loux on the 7-day disabled list Thursday with a right triceps strain retroactive to Monday, April 27.
• Chris Coghlan would like to win a championship with the Cubs and make Chicago his permanent home according to a report from Tony Andracki. And Coghlan feels he brings a unique perspective to the Cubs youth movement.
• Former Cubs’ prospect LHP Donnie Veal is back in the big leagues. The Braves purchased Veal’s contract from Triple-A Gwinnett Thursday.
• The Tribune reported Kyle Schwarber is delivering both behind and at the plate.
• According to a report from the Des Moines Register, RHP Dallas Beeler makes his second rehab start with Iowa on Friday.
• Carrie Muskat answered a few Cubs questions.
• The Cubs starting pitching is light on innings load according to a report from Bruce Levine.
• Gordon Wittenmyer ran down a list of questions the Cubs face heading into May.
• According to ESPN Chicago, the Cubs take celebrating to a new level.
• According to Jon Heyman, the Brewers could be sellers soon if the team doesn’t start winning games. Kyle Lohse and Matt Garza could be of interest to other clubs if Milwaukee makes the pitchers available.
And last, but not least, Joe Maddon promises more out-of-the-box baseball moments according to a report from Bruce Levine.
This Day In Cubstory
1973 – Billy Williams, Ron Santo and Jose Cardenal homered in the fourth inning in a 9-5 victory over the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium behind Burt Hooton.
1964 – Cubs scored 10 runs in the first inning of an 11-3 victory over the Colt .45’s in Houston. Billy Williams drove in franchise record five runs in the first inning on a Grand Slam and a single. And Williams added to his RBI total for the day with a run scoring double in the eighth inning.
1957 – Cubs traded Gene Baker and Dee Fondy to the Pirates for Dale Long and Lee Walls.
1951 – Rudy Meoli, born
1948 – Von Joshua, born
1927 – Chuck Tolson became the first player in franchise history to hit a pinch-hit Grand Slam. Tolson took Remy Kremer of the Pirates deep in the seventh inning at Forbes Field. The Cubs lost the game 7-6 after Charlie Root walked the bases loaded and Paul Waner singled in the winning runs.
1914 – Cubs completed a triple play in the second inning of a 2-0 loss to the Cardinals … centerfielder Jim Johnson to third baseman Tommy Leach to shortstop Heinie Zimmerman to catcher Roger Bresnahan.
1894 – Paul Carter, born
1889 – White Stockings purchased Charlie Bastian from the Quakers for $500 or $1500
1879 – Cap Anson made his debut as manager of the Chicago National League Ball Club. Anson helped his team to a 4-3 victory over Syracuse with two singles and a RBI in the season opener at Lakefront Park in Chicago.