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Cub Tracks Must Be Joking

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Let’s get metaphysical, Surely, Mr. Feynman would forgive me, and other bullets.

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MLB: NLCS-Workouts
Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

Last time through this station, Cub Tracks cursed goats and monitored the probability generator. Don’t forget your towel, for we’re likely to see more implausibilities ahead.

It’s a virtual certainty, given that this is a Saturday in October and the Cubs are still playing. That’s evidence of a colossal rip in the space-time continuum, or at the very least, the space-time donut, to cop a phrase from SF author and mathematician Rudy Rucker.

Mmm, donuts. Further proof that the universe itself is out of whack — it depends on who you ask, but the Cubs are generally believed to be the favorite to win the World Series, even among people that don’t read or post here.

Interesting thoughts for interesting times. Even Heisenberg is said to be uncertain about the outcome, and it is said that Occam’s razor isn’t sharp enough to remove a playoff beard. Even Cub Tracks is vibrating on a different frequency — it’s Saturday instead of Sunday.

And no more donuts. Baker is out of the playoffs.


Here are a few items for your possible infotainment pleasure. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome). Thanks for reading.

  • Bill Reiter (CBS Sports): Being a Cubs fan means believing in the bad, the good and mostly just believing. Blue all the way through.
  • Mark Konkol (DNAinfo): Maybe it's time White Sox Fans rooted for a Cubs World Series Championship. “Without a curse to break, the North Siders would be like every other every other Major League team. “ No. They’re still gonna be the Cubs.
  • Andy Frye (Redeye Chicago): 'Lovable losers'? That's not how young fans see the Cubs. “...most Gen Z Cubs fans would rather eat Brussels sprouts than cheer for the Sox.”
  • Brian Costa, Jared Diamond (The Wall Street Journal- {$}): The Chicago Cubs are baseball’s best-smelling team. “Why relievers Hector Rondon and Pedro Strop douse themselves in cologne before games.”
  • Justin Breen (DNAinfo): Lifelong Cubs Fan, World War II Vet to be honored at Saturday's game. Art Daniels will be honored Saturday during the fourth inning.
  • Dan Symborski (ESPN-Insider {$}): ZiPS' probabilities: Cubs overwhelming favorites to win NLCS. “Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta anchor a Cubs staff that should be able to keep the Dodgers relatively in check.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( 3 keys for Cubs to reach World Series. Javy, hitting, pitching. Maybe Javy hitting and pitching. Maybe taking tickets. Mojo Nixon and Skip Roper were wrong. Javy is everywhere.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): A quick and dirty look at Cubs starters against Dodgers lineup. How do Cubs match up with Dodgers? “...a few quick snapshots.”
  • Mike Petriello ( Cubs vs. Dodgers: Position-by-position NLCS look. “...the Dodgers have their strengths.”
  • Bradford Doolittle (ESPN*): Missed connections: The Dodgers and Cubs are more intertwined than we thought. “...the franchises have plenty of tie-ins...” Rainbow weren’t the only ones to have an LA Connection.
  • Jay Jaffe (Sports Illustrated): What you might know -- and might have forgotten €”about the Cubs' NLCS history. A little bit of each.
  • Buster Olney (ESPN-Insider {$}): Crucial matchups to watch in ALCS, NLCS: Can Cubs cool down Justin Turner? “Turner heads into the NL Championship Series with a .400 average, including a triple and a homer, and five walks in 22 at-bats.”
  • John Arguello (Cubs Den): Bring on L.A.: Dodgers outlast Nationals to move on to the NLCS. LA will square off with the Cubs having left everything on the table versus the Nationals.
  • Tim Kurkjian (ESPN*): NLCS questions: Cubs, Dodgers set for epic chess match. “...several more layers of intrigue have been added.”
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times): Joe Maddon on pressure: ‘Run toward it — it’s a good thing’. Hug it and love it and call it George.
  • Bernie Lincicome (Chicago Tribune*): Strange days indeed as Cubs look to break on through. Okay, so who’s a lizard now?
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times): John Smoltz: Cubs’ rotation has ‘perfect blend’ for title run. “They’re professional. They’ve been there, done that,” Smoltz said. “And they all pitch according to their great defense, and maximize the resources that they have.”
  • Eric Stephen (TrueBlueLA): Kenta Maeda starts NLCS Game 1 for Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw expected for Game 2. “We're going to go with an extra pitcher in the pen. And we haven't identified who,” Dave Roberts said.
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN): Cubs won't alter rotation for NLCS, Joe Maddon says. Why would they? It’s worked all year.
  • Jay Cohen (Daily Herald): Cubs to start Jon Lester in NLCS Game 1. He’s in the best shape of his life™ and is ready to go .
  • Carrie Muskat ( Kyle Hendricks cleared for NLCS Game 2 start. He’s passed all the tests and is ready to go.
  • Ryan Davis (Today’s Knuckleball): Should the Cubs add a pitcher to NLCS roster? Rob Zastryzny? Jason Hammel?
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Aroldis Chapman shares workout secret that helps him throw 100 MPH. Most of his work is in the offseason.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Miguel Montero might miss the NLCS for the Cubs. Montero has battled back issues all year.
  • Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Real award or not, Javy Baez is the NLDS MVP. His “slash line was a thing of beauty” and his glove and arm flashed repeatedly.
  • Jack Magruder (Today’s Knuckleball): Ben Zobrist in a familiar place during playoff run. He’s been to the playoffs six times in nine years.
  • Phil Rogers ( Cubs need Bryzzo to produce for trip to World Series. “Kris Bryant and Anthony Rizzo are the guys who make the Cubs go. They're going to be right in the middle of things if the Cubs win the World Series this fall.”
  • Jenifer Langosch ( Jason Heyward making impact despite down year at plate. His defense and approach speak volumes to his team.
  • Sports Mockery: Cubs All-Star has dominated Clayton Kershaw his entire career. He’s gonna bat first, each game.
  • Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Finding confidence in the Cubs’ depth. “For many, 2008 is the key playoff memory they have before last season’s run, and it isn’t a pretty one.”
  • Carrie Muskat ( Year after moonshot, Kyle Schwarber a spectator. “...he isn't allowed to go far without a brace on his left knee.”
  • Ariel Cheung, Alex Nitkin, Kelly Bauer (DNAinfo): $113 for an air mattress? Wrigleyville Airbnb is red hot for Cubs Playoffs. “Rooftop bars and local businesses aren't the only ones benefiting from the Cubs' rampage through the playoffs this October.”

Food for thought.

  • Daniel Cooper (engadget): Science creates a cast that lets you scratch those itches. It’s a lattice.
  • Stephanie Pappas (LiveScience): Why earthquake prediction remains on shaky ground. Kosuke Heki said "There are difficulties.”
  • Science Alert: A rare hunter’s supermoon will appear this weekend - here's how to watch. The blood moon has come. The stars are right. Let’s win ‘em all.

See you Monday for another episode. And...eff Christopher Russo.