The Cubs may have lost Saturday’s game but the team celebrated earning a spot in the post-season tournament. The Cubs went from one of the worst teams in baseball to one with the third best record in the National League in a calendar year.
Not bad, not bad at all.
Joe Maddon made the rounds in the clubhouse prior to Saturday’s game and shook the hand of every player for the Cubs making it into the playoffs. The game did not go the way the Cubs would have preferred Saturday. Win or lose, the Cubs planned to celebrate the post-season berth Saturday.
“Even though we did not win the game today, that does not matter in a sense. It’s a celebration of a season, to this point only,” Maddon said. “We’ve got a lot of work left. Trust me, our guys will be ready for the next week and what happens after that.”
Anthony Rizzo has endured a lot of losing during his time with the Cubs. Rizzo and Starlin Castro were the bright spots on bad Cubs’ teams and were able to celebrate what the team accomplished this season.
“Hopefully this is the flip of a new generation of Cubs fans and Cubs players and an organization where we can do this every year,” Rizzo said. “We’re going to enjoy this one. It’s been a long time coming.”
For those that claimed the Cubs backed in to the playoffs, that is simply not the case. It took a lot of wins over the course of a long season to get to the point where they were prior to Friday.
- ESPN Chicago: Cubs take celebration outside
- Comcast SportsNet: Cubs party at Wrigley and celebrate their return to the playoffs
- Comcast SportsNet: Bring on October, Cubs ready to handle the playoff pressure
- Chicago Tribune: Cubs take a moment to celebrate, turn attention to Wild Card Game.
- Chicago Tribune: Cubs premature surge to playoffs defies all expectations, reasoning
The Cubs received a lot of negative attention on social media for celebrating clinching a spot in the post-season after losing a game. Len Kasper tweeted, “Love the Cubs celebrating today. Never letting pressure exceed pleasure at its core. This is all Joe. Life is good. Celebrate it. May we always live in a world in which we can enjoy stuff. Smiles, hugs, high-fives good for the soul. It Cubs baseball makes you happy, enjoy it.”
News, Notes and Rumors
• Comcast SportsNet reported the Cubs are Anthony Rizzo’s playoff team now.
• According to Mark Gonzales, with a playoff berth secured, Cubs will explore the possibility of tapering back Jake Arrieta’s final two starts and examine playoff roster options.
• Carrie Muskat reported Joe Maddon is the ‘ideal’ manager for the talented Cubs.
• According to Comcast SportsNet, belief in young players pays off for Cubs.
• ESPN Chicago took a look at what’s next for the playoff-bound Cubs.
• Ken Rosenthal reported Saturday that Dodgers VP of baseball operations Josh Byrnes is a candidate for a job in the Angels front office, either General Manager or President of Baseball Operations.
• The Tigers announced Saturday that Brad Ausmus will return as manager in 2016.
And last, but not least, the Tribune posted 11 of the favorite Joe Maddonisms from the last year.
This Day In Cubstory
2014 – The Rockies selected Chris Rusin off waiver from the Cubs
2003 – The Cubs won the National League Central by sweeping a doubleheader from the Pirates at Wrigley Field
2003 – Sammy Sosa hit his 40th homer of the season and established the NL record for the most consecutive seasons of 40 or more home runs. Sosa hit at least 40 longballs in six straight seasons.
1993 – In a 7-3 victory over the Dodgers, Cubs closer Randy Myers became the first National League reliever to record 50 saves in a season.
1987 – In his final plate appearance of the season at Wrigley Field, Andre Dawson cracked his 47th home run of the season in a 7-3 victory over the Cardinals. Dawson finished the year with 49 home runs and the National League MVP award. Dawson walked 37 times in 1987 with 103 strikeouts, one of only three seasons that ‘The Hawk’ struck out 100-plus times during his Hall of Fame career.
1967 – Ferguson Jenkins beat the Reds 4-1 at Crosley Field for his 20th win of the season. It was the first of six, 20-win seasons for the future Hall of Famer.
1935 – Cubs clinched the National League Pennant with their 21st win in a row. The Cubs swept a doubleheader from the Cardinals at Sportsman’s Park.
1930 – Hack Wilson hit home runs No. 55 and No. 56 and set the National League record for homers in a single season (56). Wilson’s record would stand until 1998. Gabby Harnett homered and Pat Malone won his 20th game in a 13-8 victory over the Reds at Wrigley Field.