Hello again, everybody. Yes, you have your day right. It is Tuesday, but who cares, it’s Tuesday, and we are going to do some rambling today. It has been quite a run for the Cubs the past few weeks, and how much fun has it been? A heckuva of a lot of fun, I will tell you that.
The kids are growing up right in front of our eyes, and I am shocked by the speedy success. With four rookies starting, the Cubs have a top-5 record in baseball at 18 games over .500 and are perched perfectly in the second Wild Card spot right now. There is a vibe on the North Side that has been dormant for years, but it is back now. The Cubs are rocking and rolling and winning, and it is just good plain fun.
• I am sure many saw the feature on Joe Maddon on the Worldwide Leader Sunday, but it was just more fodder and reinforcement regarding his character. He is a solid man, and I am thrilled with his impact on this baseball team.
• I have always been a supporter, unwavering in fact, but I must put my shovel down now. It is over. Starlin needs a change of scenery. IF he cannot keep his head in the game during a pennant race, then he needs to go. Plain and simple.
• While we are on it, I am not saying he needs to be moved eventually, but I just don’t think he is long for this team. Russell looks dynamic at shortstop, and there are multiple options for second base currently in the organization.
• Rizzo has been on an absolute tear during the streak, and he is really solidifying himself as a leader. It appears he has become the player we all hoped he would be, and the player he seemed destined to become.
• I am really curious what kind of offers Samardzija garners this off-season. He gambled on himself and turned down a reported $75-$85 million. Will he get that? I would guess so, but what once appeared to be a certainty is no longer.
• Maybe Theo and Jed were on the correct wavelength with their offer.
• The Schwarbs is just awesome. That guy can just plain rake, and while he is coming back to earth, he is still pretty awesome.
• We knew we would see Bryant and Soler. We thought maybe we would see Russell at some point, but I did not think we would see Schwarber.
• And I did not think four rookies would be starting for a playoff-contending Cubs team in mid-August.
• Hey, you guys … remember when Tom Ricketts was a cheap idiot who had no idea what he was doing? Good times, guys. Good times. Yea, he was totally clueless.
• Please don’t tell me I have to use the “SARCASM ALERT” disclaimer again. Please don’t tell me I need to do that.
• Hector Rondon has really made a lot out of his second opportunity to close. He has seized the chance at performed well.
• That is one great Rule 5 Draft choice by the front office. Acquiring a solid closer in that draft is rather unheard of, or any impact player for that matter in recent years.
• Jake Arrieta. Jake Arrieta. Jake Arrieta. Multiple reporters have just been destroying the Orioles for giving up on him. I believe even Cal Ripken Jr. chimed in recently with his disdain with the Orioles for trading him.
• Scott Feldman and Steve Clevenger in exchange for Jake Arrieta and Pedro Strop. Ummmmm … yea, can we do something like that again, guys? What a trade. Arrieta is in the Cy Young conversation. Just read that trade again, and think about what Arrieta has done this year.
• How about the second half Jon Lester has put together? I wrote before this season that I was starting to get worried, as I think others were as well, but he has just been on fire the past seven weeks. It has been fun to watch.
• I know so many opine and discuss “team chemistry,” and its importance in sports. And many liken it to “the chicken and the egg.” What comes first? Chemistry or winning? Because it appears that most winning teams have great chemistry.
• I will tell you what … I really don’t care because this Cubs team has both and it is just downright awesome right now. I was wrong about this team. I did not think the playoffs were attainable this season, and I was simply wrong. And what fun this season has been.
• It is August 18, the Cubs are multiple games ahead of their nearest competitor for the second Wild Card position, and the city is abuzz about these kids. The next few years are going to be awesome, and this season might just get us going in the best way possible.
I hope each and every one of you has a remarkable and rewarding Tuesday, and here is hoping the Cubs start another long winning streak tonight.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!