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ESPN announces a Cubs and Cardinals-heavy Sunday night baseball lineup

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ESPN has announced a big chunk of its early season Sunday Night Baseball schedule. It’s a press release and promo thing — and no, I have no intention of including the corporate sponsor whose name has been applied to the name of the broadcast because they ain’t paying me to promote them — but it’s a reminder that the winter which officially begins today will end and spring will take its place.

You will not be shocked to hear that the Chicago Cubs, Cardinals and the New York teams appear a whole bunch of times. ESPN is in it to score ratings and dollars, so they’re going to, naturally, go with the teams that give them the best chance at good ratings. One person’s bias is another’s smart business sense. Sorry about that.

The sked:

Apr. 2:  Chicago Cubs at St. Louis Cardinals
Apr. 9:  Miami Marlins at New York Mets
Apr. 16:  St. Louis Cardinals at New York Yankees
Apr. 23:  Washington Nationals at New York Mets
Apr. 30:  Chicago Cubs at Boston Red Sox
May 7:  New York Yankees at Chicago Cubs
May 14:  Houston Astros at New York Yankees
May 21:  TBD
May 28:  New York Mets at Pittsburgh Pirates
June 4:  St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs
June 18:  TBD
June 25:  TBD
July 2:  TBD
July 9:  Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
July 16: New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox
July 23: St. Louis Cardinals at Chicago Cubs

Forgot to even mention ESPN’s clear “TBD” bias. Shameful.

Javier Baez, D.J. LeMahieu have disagreement about sign-stealing

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Fellow second basemen Javier Baez of the Cubs and D.J. LeMahieu of the Rockies got into a disagreement in the top of the third inning of Sunday’s game at Coors Field over sign-stealing.

LeMahieu reached on a fielder’s choice ground out, then advanced to second base on Charlie Blackmon‘s single. While Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story were batting, Baez was concerned that LeMahieu was relaying the Cubs’ signs to his teammates. Baez decided to stand in front of LeMahieu to block any information he might have been giving to Arenado and Story. LeMahieu got irritated and the two jawed at each other for a bit. Umpires Vic Carapazza and Greg Gibson had to intervene to tell Baez to knock it off.

There has always been a back-and-forth with alleged sign-stealing. As long as teams aren’t using technology to steal signs, it’s fair game for players to relay information to their teammates about the opposing team’s signs. Last year, MLB determined the Red Sox went against the rules and used technology — an Apple watch in this case — to steal signs from the Yankees. Other teams in the past have been accused of using binoculars from the bullpen to steal signs. In this particular case with Baez and LeMahieu, there was no foul play going on, just Baez trying to make the Rockies cede what he perceived to be their slight competitive advantage.

The Cubs went on to beat the Rockies 9-7 on Sunday.