CUBS READY TO END HIS­TORIC DROUGHT

The Drumheller Mail - - CLASSIFIEDS - Bruce Pen­ton Care to com­ment? Email bru­ce­pen­ton2003@ya­hoo.ca

When base­ball’s his­tory is dig­i­tally and vis­ually recorded, how will the credit be dis­persed to ex­plain Chicago Cubs win­ning the World Se­ries in 2016? They are go­ing to win the Se­ries, right? The Cubs, in­fa­mous for not hav­ing won Ma­jor League Base­ball’s top bauble since 1908, have been by far base­ball’s best team in 2016 — the only club with a win­ning per­cent­age above .600 and, in early Septem­ber, a 16-game lead in the Na­tional League Cen­tral Di­vi­sion — and they can’t pos­si­bly blow it, can they? So where will the credit go? To team pres­i­dent Theo Ep­stein, the one­time boy won­der of the Bos­ton Red Sox who took over di­rec­tion of the Cubs five years ago and molded a cham­pi­onship team out of very promis­ing parts? Or will it go to man­ager Joe Mad­don, who steered the Tampa Bay Rays to an Amer­i­can League East ti­tle in 2008 and was man­ager of the year in the NL last season with the Cubs? Will it go to the Cubs’ vaunted pitch­ing staff, which has three play­ers — Kyle Hen­d­er­icks, Jon Lester and Jake Ar­ri­eta — among the top six in the Na­tional League in earned-run av­er­age? Or will the rea­son for the Cubs suc­cess land at the feet of slug­gers Kris Bryant, last year’s rookie of the year, and undis­puted club­house leader Anthony Rizzo, both of whom are among the league lead­ers in home runs, slug­ging per­cent­age and OPS (on-base per­cent­age plus slug­ging)? To be truth­ful, the credit is spread around fairly evenly. The Cubs are a bal­anced jug­ger­naut with bril­liant de­ci­sions be­ing made in the front of­fice, one of the calmest, smartest man­agers in the dugout and a cast of young tal­ent that has been groomed for — wait for it — a dy­nasty. Yes, the Cubs, who have gone 108 years with­out a ti­tle, could run off three or four in a row now that ev­ery­thing in the Windy City is prop­erly lined up. Just keep Steve Bart­man away from Wrigley Field. Of course, base­ball be­ing base­ball, the Cubs might just lose in the first round of the play­offs be­cause that’s what the Cubs are known for — be­ing love­able losers. But their los­ing has to end some­time, doesn’t it? It says here this is the year.

• Head­line at Sport­sPickle. com: “Raiders ask their fans to mug peo­ple and rob banks to raise $750 mil­lion for new sta­dium.”

• Dwight Perry, in ad­vance of the col­lege foot­ball opener in the U.S.: “The T-shirt wars are on. USC book­store’s open­ing salvo: ‘Roll Tears.’ Alabama book­store’s re­tort: ‘Our O.J. (Howard) only killed Clem­son.’

• Eric Kolenich of the Rich­mond (Va.) Times-Dis­patch, after the Na­tion­als ac­quired pitcher Marc Rzepzyyn­ski from the A’s: “Make sure you spell his name right. It’s Marc with a C.”

• Brad Dick­son of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Her­ald, on LeBron James’ new three-year con­tract: “This will take him through the next six Cava­liers head coaches.”

• Com­edy writer Alex Kase­berg, on 49ers fans burn­ing Colin Kaeper­nick jer­seys: “Joe Mon­tana could have bar­be­cued bald ea­gles dur­ing the na­tional an­them and no­body would have burned his jer­sey.”

• Head­line at TheKicker.com: “Cuba at­tempt­ing to claim Yasiel Puig off waivers.”

• Jan­ice Hough of left­coast­sports­babe.com, with a sure sign it’s a bad week: “You re­placed Tony Romo on your fan­tasy-foot­ball team with Teddy Bridge­wa­ter.”

• ESPN’s Dal­las Braden, to San Francisco’s KNBR Ra­dio, on the Astros’ amaz­ing 5-foot-5 sec­ond base­man: “Jose Al­tuve is al­most ready to win the MVP, and he barely gets to ride the rides at Dis­ney­land.”

• TC in BC: “Next week, Tim Te­bow plans to take skat­ing lessons and of­fer his ser­vices to the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

• TC again: “The Golden State War­riors have taken Colin Kaeper­nick off the short list of an­them singers for their home opener this year.”

• Nor­man Chad of the Washington Post, on Twit­ter: “As they play the na­tional an­them at 49ers-Charg­ers game, I am sit­ting at home with my dog Sap­phire. We will stand up later to get treats.”

• An­other one from Kase­berg: “Ryan Lochte has a new en­dorse­ment deal with a crime pre­ven­tion de­vice. Ap­par­ently the de­vice pre­vents stupid peo­ple from go­ing to Rio.”

• Kase­berg again: “At a South Carolina track meet, a 100-year-old woman set an age group record for 100 me­ters. When asked her se­cret, she said, since she was a kid, she al­ways just imag­ines be­ing chased by Larry King.”

• Snipped from The sportscur­mud­geon.com: “Pur­due head coach, Alex Agase, about why he did not spend a lot of time re­cruit­ing in Cal­i­for­nia: ‘Any kid who would leave that won­der­ful weather to come here is too dumb to play for us.’”

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