Is it Wednesday yet? Still 36 hours until game time? Well, what are we supposed to do until then??
I guess there are some stories you can read to kill the time...
From Comcast SportsNet Chicago:
- What was it like to play in the ultra-competitive National League Central this year? Joe Maddon loved it, and Jed Hoyer thinks that it'll be good for the Cubs in the long run.
- Pirates' manager Clint Hurdle knows that it could be a rough night going against Jake Arrieta in the wild card game, but he also has a game plan to try and get a win against him.
- Buster Olney had huge praise for Arrieta, saying that "He right now to me is the most unhittable pitcher that I've seen since I've covered baseball."
- Joe Maddon, on Addison Russell heading into the playoffs: "He's in his own little cocoon right now, which I kind of dig." That makes statement number 10,312 that you'd never hear from another Cubs manager.
- Dan Haren is ready to call it a career. After the playoffs end, that is.
- And who says teachers are mean: A University of Illinois professor let one of his students reschedule his midterm... so that the student could go to the wild card game in Pittsburgh.
- Can the Cubs win the World Series this year? Carrie Muskat has her list of five reasons why they could win it all.
- While Jake Arrieta and Gerrit Cole might be the dominant forces in the wild card game (sponsored by a major beer company) on Wednesday, Phil Rogers writes that the heroes with the bat are likely to be either Anthony Rizzo or Andrew McCutchen.
- Andrew Simon gives his position-by-position breakdown of Wednesday's matchup.
- Jim Callis compiled a list of how all 10 playoff teams were built. The Cubs lead all teams in acquisitions via trade, waiver pickups, or the Rule 5 draft.
- Kris Bryant has a big fan rooting for him in the playoffs this year: His former traveling team coach Matt Lawrence, who spent four weeks this year recovering from a surgery to remove a cancerous kidney.
- Jed Hoyer recently sat down for a conversation about the Cubs with MLB.com.
From ESPN Chicago:
- Jesse Rogers builds his 25-man Cubs roster and starting lineup for the wild card game on Wednesday.
- David Schoenfield gives his list of selections for the postseason awards if he had a vote. It wasn't a clean sweep for the Cubs, but it was close.
- Watching from the 100-level section in Milwaukee on Sunday, Theo Epstein took some time to reflect with Jon Greenberg on the season that had passed and on things yet to come.
- The numbers are in and the Cubs ended up with the second-highest increase in television ratings this season, increasing their CSN Chicago viewership by 122 percent over last year.
From CBS Chicago:
- Who has the edge going into Wednesday's game? Bruce Levine says that both teams have a strong case to be the winner but the Cubs have one key element: the "Maddon Mojo".
- [AUDIO] Nick Shepkowski put together an audio montage of the top moments of the 2015 season.
- Reds' manager Bryan Price had plenty of praise for the Cubs' performance this season, while Brewers' manager Craig Counsell said that when it comes to the playoffs: "Whichever team gets the surprise pitching performance will be the team that goes the deepest."
- This week's "Behind The Plate" focuses on Cubs' public address announcer Andrew Belleson. The guy has the coolest job in the world at the age of 28. My job at 28 was nowhere near as fun as that.
- Jake Arrieta's Twitter game is strong. Very strong.
- There's a Joe Maddon Cubs Hoodie Bobblehead on the way. It's missing one key element, though.
From the Chicago Tribune:
- Paul Sullivan checks in from Pittsburgh, where he says that the mood is anxious for a wild card game that could be the biggest meeting ever between the Cubs and the Pirates.
- If you're wondering how you should feel about the game on Wednesday, Sullivan says that you should act however you want and don't let anyone tell you that it's wrong.
- But in case you know someone who's really, really late to jump on the Cubs' bandwagon, here are 10 things that they should know, according to Grace Wong.
- Whoever loses in Wednesday night's game will still be able to say that they reached the postseason, unlike the 1993 San Francisco Giants who won 103 games and missed the playoffs by one game after blowing a nine-game lead with 47 games remaining in the season. Jim Deshaies was a late-season addition to the '93 Giants roster and says that "Guys were weeping in that clubhouse."
- Mark Gonzales writes that Addison Russell is a student of the infields, primarily because of all of the pre-game and in-game preparation that Russell goes through.
From the Chicago Sun-Times:
- [VIDEO] If you're busy, you need to find five minutes to watch this hype video. And maybe crank up the volume a little bit.
- If there's one person that can lead the Cubs through the pressure of the playoffs, Cliff Floyd knows that it's Joe Maddon, having played for the 2007 Cubs and then the worst-to-first 2008 Rays.
- One of the major reasons that the Cubs are in the postseason, according to Chris Bosio, is the health of the starting rotation, saying that "I think it's safe to say there's no way we'd be in this position if we'd had a couple injuries to that rotation."
- There's one big reason that Rick Morrissey wants the Cubs to win on Wednesday: He wants to see red ivy.
- City Hall in Chicago is getting in the spirit, flying the W throughout the building.
- Even Dunkin Donuts is getting into the act. I should go to the Dunkin Donuts on Manchester and see if they'll make one of those there. I'm guessing that they don't know what the color blue actually is.
- The statues in front of Wrigley Field have also been decked out in new jerseys. Am I the only one who finds it a bit ironic that the Sun Times is using photos in their story that were taken by Paul Sullivan?
- The Blackhawks are bummed that they won't be able to watch the wild card game as it happens. Silly NHL schedule makers.
- Jake Arrieta's Twitter game is still strong.
- Apparently in Pittsburgh, Arrieta is the new Hunter Pence.
From the Daily Herald:
- If you're still thinking about going to the game on Wednesday, there are apparently still seats available. And they're also apparently quite a bit less expensive than they would have been at Wrigley Field.
- And if you're looking to kill some time in Pittsburgh, Marie Wilson has nine things you can do while you're in town.
- The bet is on: It's pizza vs. pierogi in Wednesday's wild card game.
- Kerry Lester writes about George Spannenberg, a diehard Cub fan for over 80 years who passed away in 2014, but his family knows that he's smiling from above about what's going on this season.
- Jason Gay from the Wall Street Journal is a fan of shorter playoff series and a huge fan of March Madness, but he feels that having either the Cubs or Pirates leaving the playoffs only after one game is bad for baseball.
- Matt Jackson from SB Nation's sabermetric-oriented site Beyond the Box Score lists his reasons why the Cubs will win the World Series. Now if they could just figure out picture cropping over there... (love you guys!)
Today's food for thought:
- If you're a fan of calculus and thinking about moving to Toronto, you can buy the "Integral House" -- the former home of math professor James Stewart who designed the house using calculus -- for a mere $17.2 million.
- And for the fans of old photography, Yale University recently released a database containing over 170,000 pictures taken in the United States between 1935 and 1945, including over 2,400 taken in Cook County alone.