This is rare earth we tread upon today — when last we checked in, Cub Tracks was still alive and headed to Game Six. The Cubs won that tilt in decisive fashion, forcing a Game Seven showdown. The results are in, praise Theo. Cubs win in seven.
I don’t play armchair manager much, and I’m not going to now. I’ll leave that to the experts. That was quite a game, and quite a series. Extra innings in Game Seven? Ridiculous. Bring out the tarp? Oh, my heart. Oh, my fingernails.
Congratulations to the Cubs, their organization, their players, and fans everywhere. I am of the opinion that we did it together. Today is a new Blue day, and the Cubs are now that team with the least interval between championships.
Strangely enough, I didn’t cry. I thought I would. Instead I started laughing like a loon about the middle of the eighth inning and didn’t stop until about 1 am. I had made an appointment with my shrink in case of a loss (seriously). We’re breaking up anyway — I’m calling to cancel.
I slept like a baby, once I finally laid down, and woke up early. MLB Network played on my bedroom TV all night I am refreshed, rested, with a huge smile on my face and a spring in my step. My living room is now wallpapered with ‘W’ flags. I ordered two World Championship shirts and a framed Tribune, to put with my framed 1986 Tribune and my framed 2010 Tribune, in a safe place where I can take time out every once in a while and relive the memories.
Cheers to my Grandpa and my pop, who passed before they could see this, and to Jeff P., with whom I watched many games played by the ‘Flubs’, with Old Style in hand and grim expectations. Cheers to Lars, who used to be a Giants fan and not much of a baseball fan. Cheers to BCB posters, those who I agree with and those who I disagree with. I was never a doubter, but ‘PT’ is still an LSM. A cliche...but there is a reason things become cliches, and there’s more than a kernel of truth to the phrase today.
And thanks to Al for the opportunity to write for you. It hasn’t always been easy, and I freely admit that I almost quit a couple of times...but stuck it out because A) I’m a stubborn old bastich and at some point opprobrium becomes encouraging and B) I saw this (possibly? Probably?) coming and didn’t want to miss it. 10/27 was my first anniversary. I’m gonna re-up. I’m proud to be a contributing member of the BCB front-page staff, and look forward to more and better words in the future.
Did anyone else find Harold Reynolds’ comparison to the Bulls awkward and forced? That was a sour note, I thought. But maybe it’s because I’m not into basketball.
That all said... how did this all feel for you? Feel free to tell us about your feels, or not. In the meantime, here are some of the latest and greatest reactions for your infotainment purposes. I had to edit — this could have been twenty-five pages long. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
- TMZ Sports: Andre Dawson: Cubs Were Built To Win Game 7 ... 'I'm All In On Chicago'. “...he says the Cubs can take advantage of seeing the ace pitcher for a third time.”
- Matt Vasilogambros (The Atlantic): After 108 Years, the Cubs Are World Champions. Goat cheese but fun.
- Gregory Pappas (The Pappas Post): The curse of the Greek Goat has been lifted in Chicago after almost seven decades. More goat cheese but cool, and check the author’s last name. Courtesy Nick Mamatas.
- ESPN*: Cubs end curse [VIDEO].
- MLB.com*: Kris Bryant on his approach at the plate. [VIDEO].
- Courtney Cronin (The Mercury News): A Cubs Fan’s World Series memoir. Fan loyalty goes beyond the Series.
- Chris Jaffee (the Hardball Times): The 10 greatest Game Sevens in World Series history. This might have been the best ever.
- Erik Brady (USA Today): Why World Series Game 7 is important to America. “The everydayness of baseball often offers solace at times of national need.”
- George Castle (Chicago Baseball Museum): This World Series championship is for all deserving fans and players, past and present. This is for all the undyingly loyal fans who ran out of mortal lifetime to see it...
- MLB.com: Joe Maddon and David Ross join MLB Tonight [VIDEO].
- Marc Normandin (SB Nation): The Cubs are champions, while the Indians wait 'til next year. “Baseball has changed, y’all.”
- John Sickels (Minor League Ball): Cubs vs. Indians: World Series for the Ages. All ages.
- Todd Johnson (Cubs Central): New legends are born. “I can’t wait to do it all again.”
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Holy now! 108 years later, Cubs best in World. "This is in the history books, we made our mark," Addison Russell said. "It's such a young core -- we're just getting started."
- Anthony DiComo (MLB.com): Ben Zobrist's heroics net Series MVP honors. That look on his face after he hit the double, when he was slapping skin with Rizzo. That’s when I knew it was over.
- Alyson Footer (MLB.com): Cubs' virtual World Series celebration is real deal. “...Cubs fans are everywhere.”
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Going out on top: David Ross carried off as champ. "I hit a home run in Game 7, and I got carried off the field," Ross said. "That doesn't happen. It's like 'Rudy.'"
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): 108 is enough: Cubs hoist trophy.
- Chris Landers (Cut Four): The Cubs are World Series champs, and everybody got to hang out with the Commissioner's Trophy. “That really happened. The Cubs won the World Series.”
- ESPN/One Nacion: Javier Baez stepped into Roberto Clemente's cleats for a night. “Almost every baseball-playing child in Puerto Rico grows up trying to emulate local legend Roberto Clemente.” Javy did, for one heart-stopping moment.
- Bradford Doolittle (ESPN*): The Cubs aren't going away, and that's good news for baseball. There are a lot of ancillary benefits to be derived right now," Maddon said.
- ESPN*: Baseball Tonight talks about the most memorable game ever [AUDIO].
- Rob Arthur (Five Thirty-Eight): Cubs Fans finally exit purgatory after one of baseball’s greatest games. “Good baseball transcends the teams that play it, and Wednesday had the best baseball I’ve ever seen.”
- Jonah Keri (CBS Sports): Absurd Cubs-Indians World Series Game 7 was everything we love about baseball. Especially the ending.
- Mike Axisa (CBS Sports): Jason Heyward spurs Cubs to win over Indians with rain delay speech. "We all rallied around Aroldis and helped pick him up," Russell said. "We told him we were going to win, and we did."
- RJ Anderson (CBS Sports): Twitter has jokes, memes and congrats after Cubs win World Series. Some classics.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joy to the World: Cubs finally end 108-year Series drought. “I know there are so many people that are thinking of their grandfathers and their fathers right now in Chicago, and that’s what it’s all about,” Jed Hoyer said.
- Paul Rumeliotis (CSN Chicago*): Grandpa celebrating Cubs' World Series win after 81 years will absolutely melt your heart.
- Tom Verducci (SI via Fox Sports): Reign Men: The storm, the speech and the inside story of the Cubs' Game 7 triumph. Said first baseman Anthony Rizzo, “That rain delay was the most important thing to happen to the Chicago Cubs in the past 100 years. I don’t think there’s any way we win the game without it.”
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): We never quit: Cubs are World Series champs. “This wasn’t supposed to happen.”
- Aaron Gleeman (Baseball Prospectus): After 108 Years, Cubs Win the Marathon and the Sprint. “...the Cubs are poised to keep their winning window open for a long time.”
- Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Willson Contreras moved to tears by Cubs victory [VIDEO]. All the feels, all the time.
- Grey Papke (Larry Brown Sports): Ben Zobrist admits he thought of Cubs’ curse after Cleveland comeback. “...it’s hard to imagine it not crossing the mind, at least for a brief second.”
- Augist Fagerstrom (Fangraphs): Ben Zobrist will not be forgotten by the history books. “Zobrist finally had his moment, and baseball’s longtime most underrated player will never be underrated by the history books again.”
- Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports*): Anthony Rizzo can finally tell the truth about the bat that saved his postseason. Matt Szczur’s bat is one inch shorter and two ounces lighter.
- Barry Rozner (Daily Herald): The magic number will forever be 2016. “If it is truly better to have loved and lost than to have not loved at all, it must also be true that to have loved such a legacy is to now be rewarded with the greatest victory of all.”
- Stephen Martano (Beyond the Box Score): The Cubs had to win it this way. Hell freezes over.
- David Haugh (Chicago Tribune): Cubs' drought-ending World Series title has no peer in Chicago sports history. “The last great American sports story now has an ending.”
Food for thought
- By winning Game 7, Joe Maddon moved to 3-0 in winner-take-all games vs. Terry Francona. He's the first manager to have three such wins against another skipper, the Elias Sports Bureau reports.
- Jayson Stark — I wondered last night if anyone had ever hit a HR in Game 7 of a World Series and then never played another game. The answer from the Elias Sports Bureau: Only one man has ever done that. David Ross!
There are a lot more where those came from. This is already the longest Cub Tracks ever. #FlytheW proudly, and we’ll see you Sunday. Thanks for reading, and thanks to Denise S., Lars P. , John Claude, Michael, and Can for the continuing coolness. I have to stop now and watch Christopher Russo enjoy his crow.