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Cub Tracks Dreams Big

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Hyperbole, Puigs on the wing, pumpkin spice everything, and other bullets

Let’s hit two today!
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

This past Tuesday, Cub Tracks served it up, piled higher and deeper than before. Today, we’re even more new and improved, thanks to the magic of hyperbole the written word and the practice of bribing the editor good journalism. By now you’re aware that the Cubs toasted the Cardinals’ ravioli yesterday and clinched at least a tie for the division title. The Cubs put red sauce on their meat loaf, had it wrapped to go, and open a four-game series at home against the Brewers tonight. A little Nightengale told me that we might not have to see Ryan Braun in Milwaukee blue next year. Yasiel Puig might be troublesome, but not as troublesome as Braun. That’d be great. Buh-bye...

It’s been a foregone conclusion for a while that the Cubs were gonna go to the playoffs. But it’s beginning to dawn on even the likes of me that October baseball is coming, along with pumpkin-spice everything and candy corn everything else and back-to-back jack o’lanterns.

Wait, what? Yeah. You know that commercial, where burrito boy is a jerk but viewers are supposed to side with him because hipsters? Yeah. It’s like that. I’d rather have the fondue.

It takes a minute to process, if you’re me. And I am. And the Cubs are going to the playoffs, and honestly, I don’t care who wears the other laundry. Buster Posey can wash it. Max Scherzer can be fixed with a disarming smile. I hear that Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels are lefties, for cryin’ out loud. Sinister, both of them. Next worst thing to being underhanded, Joe Smith. Dastardly bastiches, the lot of them.

A field of Dexter Fowler rampant and Grandpa Rossy wheeling off victorious into the sunset is the stuff that dreams are made of. In October it goes to eleven, as you know, Nigel Tufnel. Eleven victories. Then we party like it’s 1908. I don’t care what Steve Greenberg says.

Here are a few silent stretch-run sololiquies for your possibly pleasurable perusal. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).


  • Bill Savage (ABC News): The View From Section 416: Hunting for home runs with Wrigley Field's famed ballhawks. “What's the purpose of spending so many days outside Wrigley, all for a ball?”
  • David Haugh (Chicago Tribune): Cubs on verge of celebrating at home, where party should be, but then what? “How do you keep the competitive edge sharp on a team that could have to wait 22 days until its next high-stakes situation?”
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cubs’ party wagon heads to Wrigley for shot at clincher Thursday. “Embrace the Target” turns to “Erase the Target”.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Cubs boast ERA leaders after Jon Lester's gem. Cubs pitchers last accomplished the feat in 1938.
  • Phil Rogers (MLB.com): Lining up postseason rotation no easy task for Cubs. Lester and John Lackey are currently lined up for the first two starts.
  • Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): How Joe Maddon could set up his playoff rotation. Slanted toward Arrieta getting the first road start.
  • Adam Nissen (Sports Mockery): Cubs potential playoff rotation could include a major surprise. Tim Kurkjian advanced the theory. It is his.
  • Gordon Wittenmyer (Chicago Sun-Times*): Lester and Kyle Hendricks creating two-man Cy Young race? “Both those guys have been doing a phenomenal job,” David Ross said.
  • Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Let’s debunk the biggest myth about Kyle Hendricks. “...Hendricks goes out there and simply gets lucky during every start.”
  • Craig Edwards (Fangraphs): Who’s responsible for the Cubs’ incredible pitching stats? The defense doesn’t rest.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kris Bryant: David Ross is Cubs' true MVP. "He's probably more valuable at times than any one of us here because of what he says in the clubhouse, how he gets us going," Bryant said on Tuesday. You should see his pompons.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Willson Contreras: a ‘fighter,’ a ‘winner’ and — sniff — a crier. He’s not gonna take it down a notch. He might ramp it up.
  • Bruce Miles (Daily Herald-{$}): Caution flags mean nothing to these young Chicago Cubs. Trust in the process and the process will trust in you.
  • Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Joe Maddon tweaks 'target' motto for postseason. “Embrace the pumpkin spice,” he didn’t say. Actually, he didn’t say. Hector Rondon volunteered that he likes to smell fresh.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joe Maddon doesn't worry about post-clinch hangover for Cubs. “I really believe it’s in the approach,” Maddon said.
  • Mark Gonzales (Chicago Sun-Times): Joe Maddon won't say it's World Series or bust for his Cubs. "I'm just worried about winning the division and keep moving it from there," Maddon said.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Joe West's cowboy act still bothers Joe Maddon. He had never seen that interpretation of the rules before. Probably because West made it up on the spot.
  • ESPN (Insider-{$}): Insiders Roundtable: Which awards stats matter? Trout for MVP? Cubs' Cy Young split? A team of experts weighs in.
  • Jeff Sullivan (Fangraphs): The case for Kris Bryant as National League MVP. “Bryant has been worth the most wins.”
  • Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Other Cy Young and MVP candidates propel Cubs to brink of division title. Lester and Rizzo propelled the Cubs to victory.
  • Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Anthony Rizzo's predictions of greatness coming true for Cubs. And it’s glorious.
  • Ken Schultz (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Ghosts of 2008? Probably not for these Cubs. “...while the 2008 Cubs were great, the 2016 Cubs are substantially better.” He doesn’t believe Greenberg either.
  • Steve Greenberg (Chicago Sun-Times*): Cardinals still a threat to the Cubs? Depends whom you ask. “It’s time for us to make or break,” second baseman Kolten Wong said. You don’t say...
  • Tim Coffey (Redeye Chicago): Time for the Cubs to welcome back Sammy Sosa. Past time.

Food for thought:

  • Stephanie Pappas (Live Science): Oldest indigo-dyed fabric ever is discovered in Peru. 6200-year-old Cubbie blue!
  • Amina Khan (LA Times): In world's languages, scientists discover shared links between sound and meaning. “This could throw a curveball into the work of researchers tracing our linguistic heritage.”
  • David Grossman (Popular Mechanics): Polar bears have surrounded scientists on a remote island. The bears are waiting for the end of October or the beginning of November. I wonder...

Thanks for reading. See you Sunday. Go Cubs!