When Fox televised Super Bowl 51 in February, it seized the chance to promote its new FS1 programming lineup by sending all of its studio shows to Houston, including “Undisputed” with Bayless, Sharpe and Joy Taylor, “Speak for Yourself” with Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock and the now canceled “Garbage Time with Katie Nolan” and “Fox Sports Live” with Jay Onrait and Dan O’Toole.
But that was then. Like other NFL broadcaster partners such as NBC, CBS and ESPN, Fox is now struggling with an NFL audience drop over two seasons.
Why this is a good deal for the Cubs: Chatwood was one of the harder free agents to peg, a pitcher with a 4.27 ERA over the past two seasons while pitching half his games at Coors Field, but also a pitcher with some walk issues, a below-average strikeout rate and career high of 158 innings pitched. According to Baseball-Reference.com WAR, Chatwood should be viewed as an underrated performer, with 5.7 WAR the past two seasons, similar value to Jon Lester (6.1 WAR) and free agent Jake Arrieta (5.2). If he pitches to that level — which means lowering that ERA as he leaves Coors — the $38 million could be a steal. Indeed, among pitchers with at least 100 road innings the past two seasons, Chatwood ranks sixth with a 2.57 ERA, just behind Stephen Strasburg and just ahead of Max Scherzer and Chris Sale.
Now Marvin Lewis is getting outcoached in his own house by John Fox. Injuries are only a small part of the problems with preparation.