In the last post, Cub Tracks partied on, excellent, and celebrated despite the fact that the Cubs were in the process of losing a series to the Brewers, because clinching, however incongruous that may be. The Cubs did it, after all. And why not? The Cubs are a playoff-bound legit contendah, and a cuppa Blue Cheer can go a long way. Denial is mighty to Miguel Cairo, and like that, and so on. So there.
If we must make new rules, let’s just get it over with.
The Cincinnati Reds are in town for a three-game series. They’re in the way of getting to the playoffs as quickly as possible and should be summarily disposed of. So it figures that they play inspired ball and become a handful. The Cubs will end the season in Cincy... maybe it’ll be the last we see of Bryan Price.
One up. Hey, let’s get some more runs. And some meat loaf.
Here are some potentially informative or amusing items for your perusal. As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
When heavily favored to win a World Series crown after 108 years without one, you get an issue: pic.twitter.com/639ZFDnqob— ESPN (@espn) September 19, 2016
- ESPN*: Week 24 Power Rankings. The top three still are.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Contemplating the postseason roster: The position players. Roster Tetris.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jake Arrieta's shaky fastball command 'fixable'. "I just need to find that comfort with the sinker in the strike zone, first pitch, and after that, it opens up a lot of doors," Arrieta said.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN): A velocity dip for Jake Arrieta doesn't have Joe Maddon concerned. On the other hand, there’s this.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Make Arrieta great again: Ace needs to regain comfort, improve execution. More data about both of the above.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Kyle Hendricks believes outing against Brewers illustrates his development into Cy Young contender. "I wouldn't've been able to get through this game or keep it at two last year,” he said, in part.
- Bruce Miles (Daily Herald): Cubs' Hendricks still Cy Young-worthy despite loss to Brewers. “Hendricks said he didn't have his best fastball command, but he battled through the start.”
- Isaac Bennett (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Jason Hammel’s tenuous hold on a postseason future. “...he would be the second or third best starter on other playoff-contending teams.”
- CBS Chicago: Cubs moving Mike Montgomery back to the bullpen. That was gonna happen. Just a matter of when. Carrie Muskat says Montgomery’s gonna get another start.
- Tony Andracki (CSN Chicago*): Cubs see Miguel Montero 'resurfacing' as postseason looms. "I just think his whole game has picked up," Joe Maddon said.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Anthony Rizzo 1 of 6 finalists for Marvin Miller Man of the Year award. He was chosen by fans.
- Dave Otto (Daily Herald): Cubs coaches deserve just as much love. “Maddon's coaching staff is one of the best in the business.”
- Toni Ginnetti (Chicago Sun-Times): Joe Maddon focusing on proper rest before playoffs. ‘‘I’ll start talking to guys in advance [about days off], not use guys two days in a row and make sure guys on the bench get at-bats,’’ Maddon said.
- Jay Cohen (AP via USA Today): Playoff-bound Cubs planning ahead. "I probably will watch Washington more than anything right now," Maddon said.
- Bradford Doolittle (ESPN): Cubs hold a refocusing meeting with Joe Maddon. “It’s unusual being in a position like we are right now,” Maddon said.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Kyle Schwarber running drills, imaginations running wild. Theo said no.
- Will Leitch (Sports on Earth): Playoff dossier: Chicago Cubs. Part one of ten.
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Instructional League Opening Day: In grind we trust, rosters, and some quick observations. “Nothing comes easy no matter how talented you are.”
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Marlins could trade Jose Fernandez this offseason, Cubs are mentioned. Well. Even with arbitration approaching, that’s an attractive prospect.
- Steve Rosenbloom (Chicago Tribune*): Billy Williams on one regret as Cubs advance. “...he talked about what a World Series title would mean to members of the '69 Cubs.”
- Dan McGrath (Chicago Sun-Times): Print it: This really is the year for Cubs. “I’ve got the Cubs going to the World Series, a pronouncement should be greeted with enough grains of salt to safeguard Chicago’s roadways through the harshest winter.”
- Robert Channick (Chicago Tribune): Cubs playoff run scores win for new radio partner WSCR. The station is generating record ratings and revenue .
- Lewis Lazare (Chicago Business Journal): Here's how much a World Series ticket might cost. You might get to keep a leg.
Food for thought:
- Emily Conover (Science News): Taming photons, electrons paves way for quantum internet. “Advances in teleportation, entanglement memory improve prospects for ultrasecure communicating.”
- Thomas Freeman (Maxim): Beer goggles are a real thing, science confirms. But of course, there’s a catch.
- Science Daily: Ancient skeleton discovered on Antikythera shipwreck. The Antikythera Mechanism isn’t the only thing of value found in the wreck. DNA analysis could provide insight about people that lived 21 centuries ago.
I love late-inning magic. Thanks for reading. See you Thursday.