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Cub Tracks Depot Saith Not

No curses or goats, just improbability generated, and other bullets

MLB: NLDS-Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Last time around, Cub Tracks felt the Haight, and that was before Tuesday’s improbable comeback. I have little doubt that you have all read BCB’s Wednesday coverage — there’s little point in rehashing all of that. The Cubs’ opponent in the NLCS will be determined today. No doubt there will be extensive coverage of the result, commencing after the game and going on into Friday. But there are hours to go until then, and to stop reading BCB would mean actually getting to work. We can’t have that, surely.

I’ll be merciful and keep my remarks here brief. Sooo, in order to fill in some of the time, here are a few exquisite little timewasters, while we stop at this depot for a minute. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Michael Powell (The New York Times): In the Cubs’ clubhouse, no worries about a curse or a goat. “Today’s rally wasn’t even conscious; that’s just the level of survival you go through as a hitter,” said Ben Zobrist after the game.
  • Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports*): The Cubs changed the whole script with one exhilarating inning. “We never quit,” Zobrist said.
  • John Stolnis ( How improbable was the Cubs' comeback against the Giants? Blue magic killed even-year magic.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Second City October: eff your magic. Got our own.
  • Carrie Muskat ( 3 keys for Cubs to reach World Series. "I think the biggest thing is nobody really cares in there about a curse or a goat or anything else," Jon Lester said.
  • Jenifer Langosch ( Cubs not in short supply of pitchers who rake. "I think that the mindset for us is we don't want to go up to the plate and just be a free out," said Jake Arrieta.
  • Phil Rogers ( Bright young stars carry Cubs to new heights. “I just think they're going to get better,” said Joe Maddon.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): What we learned: Cubs move on with improbable rally, Dodgers stay alive. October baseball is the best.
  • Janey McCauley (Daily Herald): Cubs enter 2nd straight NLCS ready for more. “Step One in their October quest? Check.”
  • Jayson Stark (ESPN*): Wait 'til this year? It's time to believe in the Cubs. Yes. It has been for some time now.
  • Barry Svrluga (The Washington Post): Cubs had success this year against the Nats. And the Dodgers. And everyone else. “So, Joe: Dodgers or Nats? “No preference,” Maddon said.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cubs speak: Anthony Rizzo, David Ross, Theo Epstein, Joe Maddon, Ben Zobrist, Willson Contreras, Kris Bryant discuss win. Commentary and videos. Enjoy.
  • Jason Diamond (Rolling Stone): Why David Ross is heart and soul of Chicago Cubs. Grandpa is better than Dr. Hook. He should be on the cover.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Willson Contreras a billboard for The Cubs Way. “I wasn’t nervous at all,” Contreras said.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Javy Baez shows why he’s MLB’s best defensive second baseman, adds to highlight reel in epic win. Rizzo told us all about it two years ago.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Here’s why Javier Baez put some extra juice into his Game-Winning Hit celebration. Someone was looking at him funny.
  • Steve DelVecchio (Larry Brown Sports): Javier Baez explains why he stared down Hunter Strickland after go-ahead hit. The Game 3 brushback had nothing to do with it. Not did Buster Posey’s thoughts about Javy’s style.
  • Craig Edwards (Fangraphs): Javier Baez, the Chicago Cubs, and the value of versatility. “Having a utility player or two on a team is commonplace, but the Cubs are functioning at another level.”
  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): That was the week of Javier Baez. Stardom is a step away.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times): Who’s better than Javy Baez? Right now, the answer is nobody. “I know what I can do,” Baez said.
  • Chris Bahr (Fox Sports): 10 reasons the Chicago Cubs are now unstoppable in these MLB playoffs. Yes, all of those. And then some.
  • Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Santiago Casilla in tears, unhappy at not being called in during Giants’ bullpen meltdown. “I’m a pitcher. I’m part of the bullpen,” Casilla said after the game.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying Hope: Cubs turn 1.7 percent chance into NLDS win. “Having now successfully subsumed the Cardinals’ devil magic and the Giants’ even-year BS, the Cubs have become powerful enough to overcome even the worst national media narratives.”
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs survived what went wrong against Giants, showing how they can keep advancing through October. “You’re going to have to scramble for some wins if you’re going to win in the postseason,” Jed Hoyer said.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): Does Cubs’ NLDS win over Giants signal changing of guard in NL? Not yet. One more round.
  • Chris Sosa (Redeye Chicago): Why Cubs fans should root for Washington to reach the NLCS. Several good reasons.
  • Chicago Tribune: 7-year-old cancer survivor gets prosthetic Cubs eyeball. He’s a distant cousin of Ben Zobrist.

Food for thought.

  • Sarah Kaplan (The Washington Post): Scientists discover hundreds of footprints left at the dawn of modern humanity. “Anthropologists at the site plan to use the footprints to understand social dynamics at the end of the Pleistocene era.”
  • Julia Thiel (Chicago Reader): Why are burgers delicious? Cook's Science is here to explain. “...we're trying to tell the larger stories of the world of science."
  • Stephanie Kuo (KERA news): Finger-Licking Good: The science behind frying chicken. Decant no brine before its time.

The Cubs are leaving their own footprints in the sands of time. I love October baseball.

and also — eff Christopher Russo.