How to make the Cubs’ YouTube channel a success: ‘Real time with Joe Ricketts’

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Anthony Rizzo (left) and Kris Bryant are two of the stars of the Cubs’ relaunched YouTube channel. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The Cubs relaunched their YouTube channel Monday, and, no, there doesn’t seem to be a fee attached to it for viewers, which is unsettling. Has the planet been knocked off its axis?

I like free. Free is good. But if you’ve had anything to do with Cubs tickets, apparel, parking, hotel rooms, beer and air, you know that free is the sworn enemy of the franchise.

Yet this seems to be a nice thing they’re doing. They’re putting their energy into videos that will give fans access to players, coaches and management in ways that traditional media can’t or no longer are allowed to give. Wait, are the Cubs trying to kill off newspapers? Hmmm, maybe there is a cost here.

But I won’t let that color my opinion of their YouTube channel, which is actually well done.

Among the videos posted Monday:

Who knows Kris Bryant better, Anthony Rizzo or Jessica Bryant?

Pedro Strop’s offseason.

Javy Baez answers questions with puppies.

How to make a St. Patrick’s Day Cubs logo using string art.

Good stuff, all of it. But I’m here to offer some original content I guarantee will have new subscribers running to the Cubs’ channel. It’s only a matter of time before Crane Kenney, the team’s director of price tags, hires me.


Language of Cubs’ ‘pitch lab’ all geek to some, but tech wave just beginning

More power to him: Mark Zagunis showing new look to Cubs’ staff this spring

How to make string art of Strop letting you know he doesn’t care what you think of his tilted cap.

Last month, I wrote a column about the Cubs reliever’s admirable leadership qualities. Much of the reader feedback I received was from fans who think he disrespects the game by wearing his cap slanted to the side. In response to that, a Strop-themed art project seems not only necessary but mandatory. The materials you’ll need are wood, paint, a paintbrush, nails, a hammer, string and a stencil of a single finger pointing up.

Rizzo and Bryant have a falling-out.

This is a tough watch. The bromance that has been going on for years hits a rough patch in Episode 1, brought on by a dispute over Bryant’s insistence on wearing skinny jeans with rips at the knees. Rizzo makes an offhand comment that ‘‘the moths must have had a field day,’’ and Bryant snaps that the pants are ‘‘stylishly distressed — but what would you know about style?’’ And we’re off!

Real time with Joe Ricketts.

In a breezy, whimsical discussion with co-host Joseph Stalin, Ricketts, the father of the four children who own the Cubs, speaks of ‘‘the mongrels who want to take over our beautiful world — and I’m not talking about the Brewers here!’’ Not for younger Cubs fans.

Joe Maddon like you’ve never seen before.

The Cubs’ skipper really opens up, talking about the time when he was managing the Idaho Falls Angels of the Rookie League and an 18-year-old shortstop named Dick Schofield, who would go on to play 14 big-league seasons and, little-known fact, is the son of Ducky Schofield, who — by the way — was the first person to bat at Shea Stadium in 1964, hit a chopper up the middle . . .

Everybody In? More like Everybody Out!

Featuring never-before-seen videos, this feature takes you inside team president Theo Epstein’s offseason attempts to persuade chairman Tom Ricketts to sign top free agent Bryce Harper. Watch Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer lay out all the reasons Harper could help the team win another World Series. Listen to Ricketts’ rationale for not signing Harper: ‘‘$350 million for one player? Do you two morons think these Cubs jackets I wear pay for themselves?’’ Epstein suggests a ticket-price increase. Ricketts looks up from his stock portfolio and says, ‘‘I like the way you’re thinking,’’ before going on a rant about Velveeta: ‘‘Did you know it’s not even cheese?’’

Gordon Wittenmyer answers your debt-load questions.

The Sun-Times’ Cubs beat writer breaks down the intricacies of the Cubs’ financial situation in all its dizzying, wonderful and sometimes slippery glory. Have your questions and an extremely comfortable chair ready.

Which coach gets fired first this season?

The Cubs’ version of ‘‘Survivor’’ follows members of Maddon’s staff as they battle to stay employed longer than a year in Chicago. When new hitting coach Anthony Iapoce wonders whether he should rent an apartment or buy a home, Bryant suggests a campground ‘‘until we see how April treats me.’’ New pitching coach Tommy Hottovy is heard screaming: ‘‘Just give me one guy on the staff who’s under 30! Just one!’’

Rick Morrissey talks about his appointment as the Cubs’ first director of happiness.

Your favorite columnist discusses what’s wrong with everything.

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