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The Little Cub Tracks That Could

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The fat lady is not singing the seventh-inning stretch, and other bullets

World Series - Cleveland Indians v Chicago Cubs - Game Four
This year is still the year.
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

“Big boy games” — I’m having trouble staving off the kind of dull resentment and festering anger I had at the end of the NLDS last year, given the fact that I witnessed (via the miracle of television) the Indians’ beatdown of the Cubs Saturday night, on my 55th birthday. I’m doing it, but I’m having trouble...because the part of me that has watched Cubs baseball for most of those years remembers how bad the team has been, and how bad, how bitter, that feeling was last year, and is afraid to hope right now.

But I’m going to do it. Going to hope and remain positive, and remember that the Cubs shelled Cleveland’s best a few short days ago, and can do it again. I’m not ready to say goodbye to this team, to this season, just yet.

I want to believe in this team the way Mulder wants to believe in little green men, and I refuse to give up now. I doubt that anyone in that Cub dugout has given up. Let’s win a game and go to Cleveland and win some more, shall we?

Read all about it. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).

  • Scott Merkin (MLB.com): Cubs fans still believe after Game 4 loss. "Of course they have a chance. We are here. We are in it," said Cubs fan Derek Williamson.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): The Cubs have The Indians right where they want them, down 3-1 in the World Series. “...the Golden State Warriors aren’t going to be the only ones who’ll blow a 3-1 series lead.”
  • Ariel Cheung (DNAinfo): Three Wrigley Bars cited for World Series overcrowding, officials say. “Rockwood Place, Redmond's Ale House and Murphy's Bleachers were ticketed for violating their occupancy limits Friday.”
  • ESPN: Cubs fan petitions for World Series tickets in divorce proceedings. "Even if the Cubs lose this time, it is likely -- regrettably -- that they will be back to the World Series again soon,'' the husband’s lawyer, a Sox fan, said.
  • John Sickels (Minor League Ball): Crystal Ball: Willson Contreras, Chicago Cubs. Career projections for Cubs’ catcher.
  • John Sickels (Minor League Ball): Crystal Ball: Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Chicago Cubs. Career projections for Cubs’ pitcher.
  • Karen Sloan (Law.com): Chicago Law Profs don’t need lecture on Cubs’ chances. “...following the team with either sense of unbridled optimism or dread that it could fall apart at any moment.”
  • Grant Brisbee (SB Nation): The 5 ridiculous trades that got the Cubs and Indians into the World Series. “The Cubs and Indians are in the World Series because they did a lot of things right. They’re also there because of some deals that still haunt their trade partners.”
  • Justin Breen (DNAinfo): Boy, Oh, Boy! Ron Santo would have absolutely loved this, his son says. "He would be there, like a player, in the locker room, pouring champagne, celebrating," Jeff Santo said. "My dad would be just right there, taking in every moment, just like we are from afar."
  • Brian Bondus (WTTV-TV): Indiana’s very own: Former Chicago Cubs pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. “I believe that somewhere today Mordecai is smiling down just watching these young guys have fun," Scott Brown, cousin of Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown, said.
  • Jared McNeil: History and memories made: The Cubs are in the World Series. “I can’t believe it, but it’s true.”
  • Billy Witz (NY Times): Indians’ Pitchers roar to life, and the Cubs’ bats fall silent. No sugary coating.
  • Tyler Kepner (NY Times): Chicago Cubs’ fortunes have changed, but Wrigley Field remains a site of pilgrimage. Except for the lights, the same as it was in 1945.
  • Jordan Bastian, Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs fall into 3-1 Series hole. The euphoria lasted one inning.
  • Jamal Collier (MLB.com): Jon Lester tasked with keeping Cubs' dream alive. I like his chances.
  • MLB.com: Joe Maddon October 29 postgame interview. “...we just have to do more offensively to give ourselves a chance.”
  • Megan Zahneis (MLB.com): Teen cancer survivors treated to World Series. Some positives amid the gloom.
  • David Schoenfield (ESPN*): What we learned: Corey Kluber is too good. “For a few minutes, there was joy in Wrigleyville...”
  • Dayn Perry (CBS Sports): What MLB history says about teams down 3-1. “...there's a 12.5 percent chance...”
  • Mike Banghart (Cubs Den): I'm Jack's raging bile duct--Cleveland 7 Cubs 2. Better than ‘Bilious Corgan’, I suppose.
  • John Dietz (Daily Herald): Cubs will turn to their ace Lester on Sunday. ‘One more loss and Cubs fans will yet again be forced to hear the some of the most dreaded words in all of sports: "Wait till next year."‘
  • Fox Sports: Lester tries to keep Cubs alive in Game 5. “Joe Maddon gives the ball to his most pressure-proven pitcher with the season on the line at Wrigley Field on Sunday night.”
  • Burt Constable (Daily Herald): Songs, cancer moment keeps Game 4 in perspective. “It's been a fun year so far. The Cubs might as well make it historic.”
  • Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): The power of positive thinking: Cubs not ready to throw in the towel just yet. Thanks, Norman Vincent Peale. "As much as you wanna say one game at a time, we know we gotta win them all," Kris Bryant said.
  • Tony Blengino (Fangraphs): The 2016 Chicago Cubs: A ball in play snapshot. “...the longer the series goes, the more of an advantage they will have.”
  • Jack Magruder (Today’s Knuckleball): Cubs face elimination as offense remains inconsistent. “The Cubs are one game from elimination after a 7-2 loss to Cleveland in Game 4 at Wrigley Field on Saturday night because they compounded some of their recent hitting issues with a rare tough night in the field.”
  • Jon Heyman (Today’s Knuckleball): Miguel Montero’s message to Cubs teammates: ‘Just chill’. “They’re all trying to be the hero.”
  • Erik Lambert (Sports Mockery): These teams prove a Cubs World Series comeback is possible. It’s possible. But the Cubs need their bats.
  • Tom Morello (Redeye Chicago): A Cubs title matters to the world. “The Cubs have never been "lovable losers." We’ve always been "hopeful underdogs."
  • Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Backs against the wall. “Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta and Kyle Hendricks stand in the way of a Cleveland World Series ring; those three men are not afraid of this situation.”

food for thought.

  • Carolyn Gramling (Science): A dinosaur’s brain, preserved in a pebble. “It’s the first known evidence of such a dinosaur brain...”
  • Simran Sethi (Smithsonian): Science explains why chocolate should be savored, not scarfed. “...chocolate sates many hungers.”
  • Adrian Cho (Science): A world without DNA and black holes: The state of science the last time the Chicago Cubs won the World Series. The term “Spacetime” was coined in 1908.

Thanks for reading. See you Tuesday. I don’t want to write an elegy.