Yeah, we're getting deep here. Again. You can take things philosophically, if you like. The way I look at it, we have two games in hand. Whether or not the outcome is pre-determined, I can't say. Your mileage may vary™.
* autoplay warning.
Bats in the belfry.
- Sean Holland (Cubs Insider): Grandpa Rossy's magical mystery retirement tour. Now you're talkin' my language. Roll up for the mystery tour! "...the Cubs want to win the World Series for their de facto leader. I think we can all agree that would be the best retirement gift of all."
- David Haugh (Chicago Tribune): Baseball is ready for its close-up with Cubs and White Sox. Baseball City can be found 300 miles north of St. Louis on I-55.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Quantifying hope: Cubs boast 97 percent playoff odds. Initiating regular feature.
- Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): Baseball's ugly past gets its grubby hands on Jake Arrieta. Shoulda written "mitts," Rick. Otherwise, "Stephen A. Smith is a gasbag. Even his biggest supporters would have to admit that when the ESPN "First Take’’ yapper talks, they worry about windburn, if not wind shear." You had me with that.
Toys in the attic.
- Bruce Levine (CBS Chicago): Cubs credit Joe Maddon for record-tying win. "Nobody on that bench is surprised when their name gets called," said Jon Lester. "Joe is the best," Matt Szczur said.
- Matt Whitener (the Sports Fan Journal): So far, Chicago is baseball's 2016 epicenter. "...while the first 30 days of the season tell very little of what the big picture will be once it is fully painted, it does provide a backdrop for early season predictions."
- Ryan Davis (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): In surging Tommy La Stella, Joe Maddon has a muse. "He [La Stella] loves 1-2 counts and he loves them at 3 o’clock in the morning," Maddon said.
- Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Joe Maddon's mound visit proves why he's the best manager in baseball. Joe doesn't do anxious.
Off his rocker.
- CBS Sports: David Ross on PED skepticism, discussion: 'We've done this to ourselves.' Cubs' catcher Interviewed on the Mully and Handley show. [AUDIO]
- John Jackson (ESPN): Jon Lester's recent fielding failure doesn't hamper Cubs against Braves. "He took the sack," said Joe Maddon.
- Michael Powell (NY Times): Jake Arrieta shows he's human, despite accusations to the contrary.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Cardinals hacking punishment may not come soon. Very unlikely to have any effect on this or next year.
You don't have to be crazy, but it helps.
- Bernie Lincicome (Chicago Tribune): Putting the fun back in baseball, as if it ever lost it. Veeck as in wreck. Column as in I(r)onic.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Joe Maddon announces club's first 'theme trip.' Tailors and haberdashers beware. Players must wear eccentric suits on upcoming trip to Pittsburgh. "It's not your typical Hugo Boss thing, not Italian cut by any means," Maddon said Saturday. "Mine will feature tulips."
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Patience at plate creating dividends for Cubs. Fully-invested, Cubs garner surplus of walks. Runs result.
- MLB.com: Because it exists: Bryzzo Souvenir Company [VIDEO]. Invest in that.
They're coming to take me away.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Cubs' timeline for Willson Contreras. "...the Cubs still envision their catcher of the future making his mark at some point this season."
- Scott Gregor (Daily Herald): Cubs react to Dee Gordon's PED suspension. [VIDEO]
- Leigh Coridan (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): The best is yet to come: Jorge Soler in context. "...perhaps the next time Soler takes a playoff series by storm, we will look at it and shrug, 'that’s just Jorge being Jorge.'"
- David O'Brien (Atlanta Journal-Constition): Hunter Cervenka making most of his opportunity. Former Cub farmhand has come a long way in a short time.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): Theo Epstein speaks: PED accusations, the Cubs' hot start, Willson Contreras, Kyle Schwarber, more. Responding to interview with ESPN [AUDIO].
Food for thought:
- CBS News: The science behind sports and fandom*.[VIDEO]
- Alexandra Levine (NY Times): The science of sneezing. Pollen hated.
- Andrew Griffin (The Independent): Free will could all be an illusion...nothing is real. And nothing to get hung about.
Wrigley Field forever.