Last time around, we nicked the Bucs, got the stuff from Dave, and cleaned the box for Schrödinger’s cat. This time, we lament a lost meatloaf opportunity, prize Theo, and continue to track the journey to the postseason.
As always * means autoplay on (directions to remove for Firefox and Chrome).
Ricketts: “I believe you are the best in baseball.”
Epstein: “Well, if we don’t get a deal done I’m going to keep showing up, anyway.” — Jon Heyman
Entrails, tea leaves, and other happy media.
- Rick Morrissey (Chicago Sun-Times): On same day Cubs keep their man, White Sox stumble around. “Doesn’t the news about Theo Epstein and Robin Ventura on the same day speak volumes about the two franchises?”
- Paul Sullivan (Chicago Tribune): Theo Epstein laid out Cubs game plan from outset, then delivered. "We're going to build this around young players," he said upon arrival.
- Kurt Badenhausen (Forbes): Cubs playoff tickets on track to be most expensive ever. And if they win, people will consider that cheap.
- Brett Taylor (Bleacher Nation): Scoreboard Watching: How the Mets’ and Giants’ Aces are lining up. Johnny Cueto probably pitches twice in the NLDS if the Giants make it there.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Jorge Soler expected to rejoin Cubs in Cincinnati. He needs at-bats. The Cubs have other postseason options if he isn’t able to be effective.
- Carrie Muskat (MLB.com): Kris Bryant: Reaching 100 RBIs 'tremendous' relief. Bryant admitted he was pressing to achieve the goal.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): John Lackey thinks Cubs have what it takes to make deep postseason run. Patrick Mooney also reports that Lackey agrees with himself. He isn’t alone in that.
- Michael Cerami (Bleacher Nation): John Lackey’s first year: Did the Cubs get their money’s worth? I think most people would agree with Cerami — Yes.
- Jesse Rogers (ESPN*): Travis Wood, the one Cub who shows up early to the office. “It’s just my routine now,” Wood said.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Gotta squat before you can squat: Schwarber lifting, hoping to get some Winter Ball at-bats and catch again. “I’ve got a long way to go,” he said.
- Nate Greabe (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Despite perception, Miguel Montero is the Cubs’ best option at catcher. “Most of Montero’s value comes from his defense...”
- Carlos Portocarrero (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Turns out there’s one thing these Cubs aren’t good at. Controlling the running game.
- Evan Altman (Cubs Insider): Miggy’s new swing and some LOOGY splits: Cubs Playoff Roster rounding into form as meaningless games wind down. Leg kick; roster predictions.
- Patrick Mooney (CSN Chicago*): Why Kris Bryant is such a money player for this Cubs team. “I think he’s going to win the MVP,” said Chris Coghlan.
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Kris Bryant believes 2016 Cubs would 'crush' last year's 97-victory version. "I'm a way better player than last year," said Bryant.
- Aldo Soto (Sports Mockery): Anthony Rizzo ties career high with 32nd home run. I’m sure he’d rather have a win.
- Larry Scott (Today’s Knuckleball): Javier Baez still has work to do at the plate. “He’s well below-average at hitting non-strikes, yet he’s swinging at them almost more than anybody else at his main position.”
- Mark Gonzales (Chicago Tribune): Jason Heyward thinks Cubs can reach bigger goals than 100 victories. Bigger than 101 or 102, too.
- Tommy Meyers (Wrigleyville-Baseball Prospectus): Playoff Particulars: Matt Szczur vs. Albert Almora Jr. “Because Almora is the better defender, I believe he is the choice here to make the postseason roster.”
- John Arguello (Cubs Den): Notes and Pictures from yesterday's instructional league intrasquad. Here are some of the highlights.
- (Rolling Stone): Chicago Cubs and the last days of old, weird Wrigleyville. “...even if the neighborhood it has called home all these years finally becomes the center of the baseball universe, it's still the same old spot.”
- Michael Wellman (Des Moines Register): Lifelong Chicago Cubs fan: 'I feel like they owe me'. “...the debt is past due,” he continues.
Food for thought:
- Jessica Boddy (Science): Print-on-demand bone could quickly mend major injuries. POD ligaments wold be even better.
- Tia Ghose (LiveScience): World's first automated insulin-delivery device approved in the U.S. Good news for type I sufferers. They’ll still have to take shots based on carbohydrate content but this system minimizes ups and downs.
- BEC Crew (Science Alert): A rare 'black moon' is set to rise this Friday night. Good luck spotting it.
One more column before the Wild Card game. The postseason is almost here. I got a ‘W’ flag and a new hat in the mail today. See you for Sunday brunch. I’m having the spam.