Hello again, everybody! And hello again as Ramblings returns to Friday. It’s been a long time coming, but we are back, and we are back with a vengeance hoping to distribute, display and define this definitely delirious day with much more than decent thoughts, feelings and emotions.
The Pirates roll into town today, and in three days the Cubs might have that home-field advantage fans so desperately want. So let’s get down to it the glorious and glamorous Friday and go Rambling.
• Here is to Starlin Castro. Seriously, what a turnaround, what a revival and what proof of what many in the sports world refer to as “testicular fortitude.”
• While I find that description and term off-putting, I believe its intent is to convey an appreciation of what an athlete has done.
• Jake Arrieta is simply a beast. I have said for weeks on end, but he is amazing and the trade in which he was acquired will one day be considered a top-10 trade of all-time.
• Let’s go back 15 months, late June of 2015. If I told you that Arrieta was lining himself up for a $100+ million deal, and that Jeff Samardzija would be lucky to get $20 million on the open market, you would have laughed at me. LAUGHED OUT LOUD.
• Yet, here we are, and here they are. Do you think the Shark is now regretting saying no to the rumored $80 million deal? I would have to say. I will never tally anyone not to bet on themselves, but for $80 million, I would probably advise them to accept!
• Remember when Kris Bryant was a bust?
• Remember when Tom Ricketts was broke?
• Remember when Rizzo for Cashner was a horrible trade?
• I do not find glee in this, fine I might a little, but my point is that the Internet has brought on a new world of haters and experts. And I am fine with that. What I am not fine with is when people do not take ownership for their words or actions.
• The Ricketts family was destroyed for its approach, and some incendiary accusations regarding their financial well-being were made, and made again. These, to my knowledge, were never proven to be accurate. In fact, if I can be so bold, it appears, the opposite might be true.
• Construction abounds at Wrigley Field and its surroundings. The ballpark is gleaming, and the team is beaming. Oh, and its also winning … like a lot of games.
• I said back in March that I expected this team to be .500 at best. Obviously, I could not have been more wrong. I did not see this offense coming, nor did I truly understand the magnitude of Joe Maddon’s abilities. What a man, what a manager, and what a leader.
• I would be remiss if I did not say the following: RIP Yogi Berra. All of his phenomenally wonderful lines have been repeated during the past 48 hours, so I will not do that, but a man of his stature deserves our respect and his family our condolences.
• The Cubs have nine players with double-digit homeruns, and yet not one everyday player hitting above .285. That is an interesting, old school stat line. Nine players with double-digit homers. Nice.
• Then again, not having a single player hitting over .285 is confounding. If I were to really think about this, I would have to say that great management and timely hitting have a lot to do with the Cubs success this season.
• I have said it before, and I will say it again, great pitching will always take a team a long way, but without timely hitting, that team will not win. There is no science to this, but there is proof … timely hitting trumps all, and it always will.
• Addison Russell is going to have a quite a career in the Bigs, and I will always think of July 4th, 2014 when he is mentioned. Many Cubs fans freaked at that trade, and well, again, Samardzija is going to be lucky to get anything close to what he was reportedly offered.
• I would really like to meet David Ross. He sounds awesome. No one on this team can shut up about how amazing he is, or how much a true leader he is. Reminds me of someone I know very well.
• I wrote about my dad last week and opened up greatly. I really appreciate all of you who read it and commented. Thank you. It means more than you will ever know. It truly does.
• The regular season will be over in less than two weeks. In less than two weeks, the Cubs will, barring a disaster, have played in the Wild Card game. To write that sentence truly blows my mind after the past five campaigns, but the time of greatness for this team is upon us. And, as a Cubs fan, I am not sure anyone could be happier about that.
Enjoy your world. Enjoy your life. Enjoy your wife … or husband. Enjoy your family, and enjoy your weekend. You have earned all of this and then some.
And until next time …
Stay Classy Cubs Fans!!