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Some words with simulated Cubs manager Brandon Palmer: A trip to merrie olde England

An interview with simCubs manager Brandon Palmer, on location in London, conducted by Cub Tracks

London Stadium
Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

Well, we found Ray Renfield, but since we plan to conduct this interview in broad daylight, I’ll have to do it myself, at least until Ray steps out for a bite.

Greetings, ersatz Cubs fans. We’ve successfully negotiated both the big water (the ocean, not the Schuylkill) and several decades of the past, and are comfortably esconced outside of a small pub near the site of the venue. Since we’re digital, we only have to pay as much attention to consensus reality as we need to, and the unique properties of the Cub Tracks Continuum allow us to visit any time and place we wish.

So the simCubs ARE in Jolly Olde after all, and Brandon Palmer has been wandering around the city for a day or so, sampling the local fare and visiting some of his favorite literary spots. The first stop was on Baker Street.

“Oh, it was elementary that I visit that spot first,” said Palmer. “I’m into the old-school.”

I closed my eyes and steepled my fingers and waited for the punchline.

“And of course I expended some shoe leather,” he continued, “because ... the game was afoot.”

Moriarty forgive me. With jokes like that, Brandon might not survive to brave the falls.

But it’s true, and I have to tiptoe around the identity of the venue, not revealing it outright, while still leaving enough clues that intellectual giants can still arrive at the solution, whether it be seven percent or not.

“I didn’t bring the Mrs. this time,” Palmer continued. “She grew up a Dodgers fan, and this particular yard could be grounds for divorce. She stayed home.”

I’m gonna call Lestrade and have him hauled out in irons. This is the map he used:

And now, this weekend’s venue can be put on the map. You’ll see.

In the meantime, the rest of the league has continued to play, and here are the league leaders and standings as of Friday morning:

Our Cubs are tied with the indians for the best record in the league and lead the National League and the NL Central by a healthy margin. They’re also all over the league leaderboards. Anthony Rizzo leads the NL in round-trippers and Kris Bryant leads the league in getting halfway there. Craig Kimbrel and Javier Baez are second in saves and stolen bases and Willson Contreras leads the NL in batting WAR.

Meanwhile we’re in beautiful Soho, at the Dog and Duck, where Orwell used to tip a few:

And next we’re heading to Covent Garden to the Cross Keys, to see a napkin that was signed by Elvis.

And then we’ll finish the day at the Cittie of Yorke, originally built in 1430, and we’ll be off to see a Yorkshireman about some longdogs and buy some copies of Occult Detective Quarterly, Brandon’s favorite magazine.

Unfortunately, the games won’t take place here, but maybe there’ll be another time.

Instead, we’ll be here:

CT — So, Brandon, what’s on your mind?

BP — I’m just trying to stay out of the way. When you’re going good like we’re going, you just want to keep it going. This is a great little side-trip. The guys and their significant others are loving this place and eating all the meat pies and fish and chips they can handle and are all talking in bad north London accents like they’ve been at a Monty Python film festival. It’s like having 26 teenagers and their friends.

Anthony chartered a double-decker and is conducting the tour himself. I think he means to occupy Downton Abbey, or at least Highclere Castle, where it’s shot. Earlier the guys played cricket with fungo bats and Ian Happ and Jon Lester, who were teenage soccer phenoms, were the captains for a spirited game of football.

CT — Good times! So everybody’s shaking things up a little, and then they’ll pull it back together Saturday morning and get ready for the real games. Cuz the Cardinals may be down in the standings, but you know they’ll play you hard.

BP — Of course! We would expect no less! I do understand that Nico Hoerner endeared himself to them by putting HP sauce in Matt Carpenter’s salsa and ordering cases of Watney’s Pale Ale to be delivered to their hotel rooms at two am, but that was all in good fun.

CT — The brown sauce! And I heard that he ordered curries as well.

BP — Yes! I suspect he plans for the Cardinals to spend this weekend on the loo. he’s fitting in well, and it doesn’t hurt that he can hit like he does. That kid might have a future in this game.

CT — Ah yes, and speaking of the future, what do you think about the venue that Al and Duane dug up for you guys to play in?

BP — I’m not going to give the game away that easy. Me and the horse I rode in on are joining the steeplechase. It’s a sticky wicket. wot?

CT — Let’s just leave it at that, then, and we’ll check back in with you after the trip.

BP — Cheerio!