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Could The 'Back To The Future' World Series Become Reality?

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All right, this is a bit silly. But on a happy day, let's be a bit silly.

Three years ago, I wrote this article which touched on a pop-culture meme that comes up every now and then: the Cubs winning the 2015 World Series over a team from Miami (possibly called the "Gators," though it was never specifically named), shown on a huge holographic screen in the 1989 film "Back To The Future II."

The point of the 2011 article was to try to get a Miami team into the American League by realignment so that the Cubs could play them in the World Series. Obviously, that's not going to happen now, though I think my realignment scheme would have made a lot of sense both geographically and from a competitive standpoint.

One interesting thing about mentioning a Miami team in the 1989 film is this: There was no approved expansion team for the Miami area until December 18, 1990, and since the film was shot and completed before release, the filmmakers would have had to be prescient to think a team was even going to be awarded to the Miami area. There were a number of other contenders, including Tampa-St. Petersburg, Orlando, Denver, Buffalo and Washington, D.C., several of whom got teams in future expansions or by franchise moves. (I still think my realignment proposal would have worked better than the one they eventually did.)

That's not why I'm writing this, though. With the Cubs' signings and trade this week, bringing Jon Lester, Jason Hammel and Miguel Montero to the North Side, they're in strong position to contend for at least a wild-card spot, if not the division title. The Cubs played near-.500 ball for four months last year (60-62 after a 13-27 start), and while 90-plus wins might be a pipedream (though other teams have gone from 73 wins to 90-plus in one year with moves like the ones the Cubs have made), playing at an 85-win pace for much of the season will get the team into the wild-card conversation.

It will be 2015 three weeks from today. The Cubs can't play a Miami team in the World Series... but it's not out of the realm of possibility that they could get there, for the first time in 70 years, just as "Back To The Future II" prophesied.