Cubs 8, Cleveland 7 (World Series Game 7)

In Commentary And Analysis by berselius99 Comments

This is just the greatest. I don’t even know what to say. The Cubs finally did the thing, in the most heart-attack-y way possible. And we were all able to see it happen. Let’s skip the negative crap and focus on what was great because, again, THE CUBS ARE WORLD CHAMPIONS.

Twenty Five up:

Fuck it, I’m just going to do everyone on the roster, sleep be damned (dying laughing). We’re not doing phrasing anymore, right? This was a team effort and the Cubs needed every ounce of effort from every player to get this championship.

  1. The Cubs WPA leader in this game was also the World Series MVP. Ben Zobrist drove in the go ahead run in extras with a double down the line to put the Cubs in position for their first champsionship. It was his only hit of the game and it was a huge one. I was, uh, less than whelmed by this signing when the Cubs made it but I was an idiot as usual. Zobrist brought home some well-deserved hardware/wheels.
  2. Zobrist knocked in the go-ahead run, but it was Miguel Montero who drove in what was the real game-winner with the follow-up RBI single to left. Miggy had a rough year and admitted at one point that he just assumed he would be released over the summer, but hung around and helped mentor Willson into the guy who started five world series games. Unless he decides to go out on this high note, I think #wearegood will play out his contract next year as the Cubs primary backup and personal catcher for Jake.
  3. Number two in WPA on the day was none other than former baseball player David Ross, who homered off of ANDREW FREAKING MILLER IN THE FINAL GAME OF HIS CAREER to extend the Cubs lead to 6-3. Ross also drew a walk in the ninth before being pulled for a pinch runner. You could do a lot worse than homering in your final career game in which your team breaks a century long title drought. Not too shabby, Grandpa. Not too shabby.
  4. Next up is Anthony Rizzo, who had an RBI single and scored what ended up as the winning run in extras. Rizzo heated up as the series went on and got to pocket the baseball that was used in the final play of the Cubs championship season, which is not too shabby of a souvenir I guess.
  5. Kyle Hendricks took a break from doing his teammates’ taxes to start this game, and brought his good stuff. With a less stochastic strike zone we probably would have seen him go six or seven. That’s all I’ll comment on that for now. Gotta love having a guy who has liquid helium running through his veins starting both of the Cubs clinchers. Now let’s just hope either he or the next guy wins the CYA.
  6. Jon Lester came out in relief on his throw day and struck out four over three innings. To be honest I had no idea he was pitching on such short rest, he looked like Regular Jon Lester throughout the outing. The Cleveland fans next to me were quite dismayed to see him coming out of the dugout, they had Teh Big Fear of him from his earlier appearances. One of his runs did come around to score on a crazy two run wild pitch that Ross had a tough time with, but overall this was the stuff of legends.
  7. Willson Contreras also had a nice game before ceding the way to the Lester/Ross battery, knocking in the Cubs third run with a double off Kluber. I’m excited to see a full season of him in 2017.
  8. Much like Ross, Javier Baez erased some memories of earlier defensive struggles with a big HR, in this case the Cubs fourth run that also chased Kluber from the game. Baez proved this postseason that he should be playing almost every day, though I think the Cubs move him around a lot more during the 2017 regular season. What a talent, the entire postseason was his coming out party.
  9. Dexter Fowler got the Cubs rolling by homering in the first PA of the game, and you could immediately feel the anxiety levels deflate. Not that much, because Cubs and all the shit that we saw happen the rest of the way, but it was still exactly what we needed. His contract status will certainly be a big topic of conversation this offseason. Maybe we can hope against hope that his mutual option is the rare one that both sides pick up, but I’m sure the union wants him to go get paid. He’s certainly earned it.
  10. Forty years from now, I would not be surprised if the one thing we remember from this world series was the crazy, crazy, crazy notion that Kyle Schwarber was able to not just make some appearances but contribute significantly to a World Series team despite having just five PAs in the regular season.
  11. Somehow I still haven’t mentioned Kris Bryant, who had a hell of a series his own self and is now tied with Schwarber for the most homers in Cubs postseason history. Bryant singled and scored the Cubs second run, and walked and scored the Cubs third run an inning later. Oh, and he also did the whole ‘record the final out’ thing. Or at least half of it.
  12. Addison Russell also had a great series, capped off of course by the grand slam in game six. His bat was a little more quiet today, though he did drive in a run on a sac fly. Still feeling great about that Samardzija trade, I don’t know about the rest of you guys.
  13. Jason Heyward once again did not have a great day at the plate, though he made the most of his one appearance on the basepaths by stealing second and heads-up-ly taking third on the ensuing error with the game tied in the ninth. He also reportedly led a team meeting during the rain delay, so yay veteran leadership. He hit something like 20 foul liners down the right field line, so if he works out his unfolding lawn chair of a swing this offseason to fix that timing he could be spraying balls all over the place again.
  14. Aroldis Chapman may have blown the save tonight, but the Cubs wouldn’t have made it to game seven without him. At least the blown save didn’t mean that we had to see him on the mound when the Cubs won it all. Hooray marginally less conflicting feelings. He might have lost himself millions of dollars on that homer. Get me Jansen next year, Theo. Or Melancon. They are also really fucking good.
  15. Speaking of closers, Hector Rondon was sadly barely heard from this offseason. I have plenty of faith that he’ll be good for next year, since I hear that the playoffs is not a great time to try to get your slider back. Getting Chapman was clearly the hugest move of the year even stretching back to last offseason, if only because the Cubs bullpen depth took such a massive unexpected blow not long afterwords. Get better soon Hector.
  16. Let’s stop and remember that the Cubs had a rookie pitcher coming in to close out extra innings of game seven of the World Series. Carl Edwards acquitted himself well despite the run he gave up, which didn’t really matter that much. Sort of. It’s easy to say now (dying laughing). With a healthy Strop and Rondon back along Montgomery and hopefully another ace reliever, the Cubs pen should be fine. Still nerve racking, since that’s what even the best bullpens can do sometimes, but his emergence has been a great development this year.
  17. And hey, how about Mike Montgomery. He was knocking on the doors of the Wandy Rodriguez HOF with Cubs fans after his first few outings following the trade, but since then he’s been pretty good. And now he can add World Series Ender to that resume.
  18. Pedro Strop didn’t see as much action as we thought this WS, probably due to rust following his late season injury. I’m looking forward to seeing him back next year. His quick pitch might be my favorite thing in the bullpen
  19. Albert Almora didn’t see that much action in this series, but he’ll certainly remember scoring the go-ahead run for the rest of his life. What a moment.
  20. We’ll probably remember Coghlan for nearly re-enacting his slide to knock out Kang. Thank the maker that was somehow a legal slide, though I’m not sure how (the bar audio cut out). I’m also secretly relieved that the Cubs didn’t take the lead that inning, because we’d be arguing that shit until the end of time.
  21. Jake Arrieta didn’t get in the game, but did still warm up on zero days rest at one point. He did his job in games two and six, and the Cubs got Good Jake for the most part in this series. 2015 Jake may have left the building, but the Cubs still have a pretty good pitcher on their hands for the next year. I don’t think they miss Steve Clevenger and Scott Feldman that much. Just a hunch.
  22. John Lackey on short rest probably would have been the next man up if the game went deeper. Much like Zobrist I was wrong about this signing, but in my defense, slightly less wrong (dying laughing). Anytime we see his resting dickface we can just remember 103 wins and a world series title.
  23. Justin Grimm was a hot and cold guy this year who got cold by the world series. It happens. He had great peripherals this year, even if the ERA didn’t necessarily match them.
  24. Travis Wood probably pitched his last game as a Cub, but they were a good couple of years capped off by his defacto team MVP in 2013. He’s death on lefties and will probably have a long career as a LOOGY.
  25. Jorge Soler had a fairly quiet postseason, going 2-5 with a wind-assisted triple in his two games. Most teams would kill to have this kind of depth (dying laughing). He might be getting untracked with a different team next year, but right now he’s probably penciled in as Schwarber’s platoon partner.

Too many down:

  • I’m not going to focus on the negatives of this game, as I’m sure they’ll come up over the next few months or years even. Instead I’ll save this for to all the Cubs fans out there who didn’t get to see this. Most notably my own grandfather, Bob “Bear” Morbeck, who passed on his Cubs fandom to me despite the fact that he passed away before I even knew what being a Cubs fan even meant.
  • And of course, to Ron Santo, who felt like family despite the fact we never actually met except through a radio microphone. We all lost this moment hearing the Cubs win on the day he died, even if this game would have killed him anyway.
  • Shoutout also to Ernie Banks, and all the other Cubs greats who never got to play in the world series or see this. I think Billy Williams is probably celebrating enough for all of them right now.
  • Feel free to add anyone else you want to include in the comments, I’ll try to update this post as I have time with anyone else people want to add.

Next up: Time to sit back and enjoy this. What a season. They did it. Baseball is pretty great sometimes.

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Comments

  1. Smokestack Lightning

    Still can’t believe they got off the mat. What a team. I feel shame for giving up after they blew the lead.

    Just incredible. Best game ever. Prove me wrong.

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  2. WaLi

    In 1985 I was born – Bears win the Superbowl that season. In 2010 I get married – Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. 2013 I have twins – Blackhawks win again. 2015 have another kid – Blackhawks win yet again..

    There was only one thing left I could do to make the Cubs win. The Cubs have been cursed – so they needed a sacrifice to overcome 108 years. Millions of sacrifices. I got fixed before the season – and well look how it turned out. You jabronis can thank me later.

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  3. oog

    My father who passed away a month ago watched every game with his caretaker this season. The language barrier meant that’s about all they could watch together. And he knew how good they were. As always this is bittersweet, but it’s also the most amazing feeling.

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  4. cerulean

    My wife has never been into baseball. This game was the first that she watched all the way through.

    I think it was an okay introduction.

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  5. cerulean

    I just had a sudden reminiscence of Steve Stone doing the Tenth Inning post-game all those years ago.

    Fitting that this went ten.

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  6. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius:
    Smokestack Lightning,

    I can’t believe my parents went to bed when they rolled out the tarp

    (dying laughing), once it made it to rain delay I made my way back. But I couldn’t handle that 9th, especially when Joe sent Chapman back out there on fumes and sadness.

    How Joe managed this game:

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  7. Smokestack Lightning

    berselius:
    Santo would have loved this, even though this game would have killed him (dying laughing)

    When Chapman gave up that HR, I swear I could hear “OH NOOOOOOOOOOOOO” crushing my soul.

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  8. cerulean

    It turns out that Chapman is an emotional human being who blew the save and was not on the mound when the World Series was won. Honestly, it was kind of the best case scenario for all the haters.

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  9. dmick89

    Chapman didn’t have his best stuff and he probably shaved a year or two off my life with the 8th inning, but he was great in the 9th. That trade and the one for Montgomery worked out pretty well.

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  10. Urk

    Man…I am crazy happy. I love this team. Big thanks to all of you here for knowledge, entertainment, snark, what have you over the past few years. Who’s bringing the cole slaw to the post game celebration?

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  11. BVS

    As a little kid, I’d watch the Cubs on WGN with my grandparents. Gramma would complain about Rueschel’s meatballs. Grampa would use Ivan deJesus and Steve Ontiveros’ play to give me pointers for little league.

    Wish they’d seen this live. But I’m glad they put me on this path.

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  12. mcalis2

    Longtime lurker… love what you guys have been doing here. I remember the days of arguing over whether James Russell would start more than one game…

    Started at the bottom: now we here.

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  13. dmick89

    I live in Kansas and don’t know any Cubs fans around here so this place is where I get to go to talk baseball. Thanks for keeping me busy and talking baseball all these years. Pretty damn cool that they finally won it all and they did so in a year when they were undeniably the best team in baseball (I hope Gerrit Cole enjoyed the postseason).

    2016 World Series Champions.

    Here’s to hoping there’s no title drought this time.

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  14. Author
    berselius

    Thanks to all you guys for staying around through all of our stupid in jokes and snark. This was great y’all.

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  15. FonteYES

    I’m buying a fowler and heyward jersey tomorrow.

    Two Georgia boys come up big for my boys in blue.

    I honestly love this team. And Jhey and Dex the most. They’re both charismatic and seem like such greaf dudes.

    Gah I’m gushing.

    THIS FUCKING TEAM!

    AND THE CHICAGO CUBS HAVE WON THE WORLD SERIES

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  16. shawndgoldman

    So that happened.

    I’ve been a bit busy with other things and unable to post/comment here. But I want to genuinely thank everyone here for all the things I learned about over the years. And for all the (dying laughing)

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  17. fang2415

    Mind —> blown

    What a game. What a team. What a season. What a century.

    Wish you could have been here, Ronnie, Ernie, Harry, Goodman, dad, and both sets of grandparents (dying laughing)

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  18. MattMurtonShallLeadTheWay

    I’ll continue the “first time caller long time listener” train. Thank you fine human beings for all that you do. I love checking in and reading Cubs takes from actual fans.
    Like most everyone else I have a loved one who is not with us and could not be here for this moment. My father passed away in July – he loved this team for 64 years. He taught me how to be a Cubs fan. Which is to say, he taught me to prepare for the worst and be ready for disappointment.
    This 2016 Cubs team was confident and relentless. Unlike so many Cubs teams of the past.
    Random thoughts. All of this is unreal.

    I’ll hang up and listen. Thanks.

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  19. fang2415

    Also, there needs to be a post showing the murder of the Hope Monster. Or maybe the victory of the Hope Monster. Or maybe the Hope Monster getting drunk with Theo and Bill Murray.

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  20. Smokestack Lightning

    fang2415:
    Also, there needs to be a post showing the murder of the Hope Monster.Or maybe the victory of the Hope Monster.Or maybe the Hope Monster getting drunk with Theo and Bill Murray.

    This. Get on it, you lazy motherfuckers. I don’t have keys to the place.

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  21. JonKneeV

    I drove up from Wrigley from Indianapolis for this game. I had nothing but regret driving up thinking this drive and PTO would be all for nothing. I was ecstatic throughout the game but still cautious knowing things can turn any second. I let myself get caught up and when the Indians came back I turned into a hermit. Not talking to anyone at the bar and sulking. I thought at that point there was a 1% chance they win. When they finally won, I broke down. I don’t know if I would have cried if they won 8-1 like they should have, but goddamn was I overcome with emotions. I don’t have a grandpa or father who passed away before they could see this. My dad is actually a Sox fan. I can’t imagine what people are going through that have those kinds of emotional ties. All I can say is that that game was so fucking fitting that they finally win it all but made is as hard and gut wrenching as possible. Congrats everyone. Congrats Chicago Cubs. I love you Ron Santo and wish I could have heard your call on that last out.

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  22. Ryno

    In case it wasn’t obvious, I was only posting negative comments to help the Cubs win. Go back and check, they were 11-0 in the postseason on days I posted a negative comment here and 0-6 when I didn’t.

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  23. Frysredjacket

    I’ll be driving three hours today to visit my grandfather’s resting place. I’m bringing a bottle of Jack, two shot glasses, and a World Series pennant.
    Living north of the cheddar curtain, I don’t get to be near my longtime friends for a game like last night, so thank you for being my defacto bar mates.

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  24. Ryno

    JonKneeV,

    Fitting is right. Think about the 2003 demons they exorcised last night. They erased a 3-1 deficit and they overcame blowing a 3-run lead with five outs to go.

    Incidentally, I actually looked at the 3-run lead and said aloud, “Five outs to go.” Then I was literally, like…

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  25. SK

    Great write up B. Excellent server management and baseball analysis dm. Fantastic child-naming Myles. Thanks for everything OV people in general. As you may know I’m an exile and live in the Greenwich Mean Time quadrant. I’m lucky enough to have friends here who are baseball fans but none of them are Cubs fans so I need this place real bad. In fact when I was home last year and went to OVCON15 with my dad, his takeaway was that OV is a Web Site for Out of Town Cubs Fans.

    I got my fandom from my dad Marty – he’s 83 and snuck through the legs of grownups to get to the front of the line at the bleacher ticket window in October 1945 after riding the fucking streetcar to get there. He got his fandom from his dad, so this shit does go back pretty far. I was pissed however when I called my dad, who watched every inning of every game this year, yesterday and he was ridiculously chill and saying it was fine if they didn’t win. That’s what 8 decades of watching a losing team does. We are lucky to escape that fate!! Cubs win!! Cubs win!! Cubs are the World Series Champions!!

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  26. SK

    Ryno:
    In case it wasn’t obvious, I was only posting negative comments to help the Cubs win. Go back and check, they were 11-0 in the postseason on days I posted a negative comment here and 0-6 when I didn’t.

    MVP!
    MVP!
    MVP!

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  27. Ryno

    Couldn’t wait to read Al’s recap…

    I can’t think of anyone more appropriate than Rizzo to handle that last out (and he put it securely in his pocket after the play), Rizzo, the heart and soul and emotional leader of this team, a man who suffered (with many of the rest of us) a 101-loss season just four years ago. That turned into 103 regular-season wins and 11 more leading to ecstasy this autumn, and I do have something special to end this recap, but first I am going to tell you the story of this game for which you cannot have too many superlatives, before I wrap this wonderful gift in a neat little bow for you.

    I want to give him a pass because of the circumstances, but sentences like this just can’t happen.

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  28. Ryno

    Here’s a guy you know is playing in his last major-league game, someone all his teammates look up to for leadership and, as Zobs said in postgame interviews, someone every single player on the team wanted to win it for so badly, and he hits a home run in that game, and not only that, but a long, long home run — and off the previously nearly-unhittable Andrew Miller?

    Could you repeat the question?

    Also, you’ve used up your comma ration.

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  29. Ryno

    Nothing like this is ever easy, and after 108 years, you didn’t think this would be, did you? It’s almost as if history itself was saying, “You can have this… but you are going to have to work very, very hard for it.”

    Work.

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  30. Ryno

    I pause here to remember and pay my respects to all those who wanted to see this as much as we, the living, did.

    O…M…G…

    “we, the living” (dying laughing) #irony

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  31. dmick89

    Coghlan’s slide was clean. It’s not his fault that Lindor was 3-5 feet in front of the base. He slid toward 2nd while also disrupting the fielder. Great play by him. Smart play by Lindor to keep the ball.

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  32. Ryno

    To the Cleveland Indians and their fans: Thank you. You are passionate, dedicated fans, and the team was a tough and worthy adversary in one of the most memorable World Series of all time, and perhaps the best Game 7 ever. Our drought is over. Yours continues. Trust me, we know how this feels. But you know what? Persevere, stick with your team, don’t ever give up. We didn’t, and now we are at the top of the baseball world. You’ll get there, someday.

    If I were an Indians fan, this quote would be all the motivation I need to drive to Chicago and shove the Wrigley jumbotron up Al’s ass.

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  33. Myles

    dmick89:
    Coghlan’s slide was clean. It’s not his fault that Lindor was 3-5 feet in front of the base. He slid toward 2nd while also disrupting the fielder. Great play by him. Smart play by Lindor to keep the ball.

    If anything, Cogs should have been safe. That slide was clean as a whistle.

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  34. Myles

    I do want to say that the Indians were a pretty damn formidable team. They lost their #2 and #3 starter, and somewhere between #1 and #3 hitter. They pushed us to the absolute brink. Incredible series.

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  35. Perkins

    I’m impressed the Indians got so much out of such a thin rotation, and even more impressed that the Cubs came all the way back and finished the job after getting in a 3-1 hole. Hell of a series.

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  36. Smokestack Lightning

    From what I can tell, it seems Jason Heyward earned every penny of his contract during that 17-minute rain delay.

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  37. dmick89

    With all the extra playoff revenue, re-signing Fowler should be an easy decision. It’s not like he’s going to cost a Lester or Heyward type of contract. He’ll get paid well, but he’s worth it.

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  38. Smokestack Lightning

    dmick89:
    With all the extra playoff revenue, re-signing Fowler should be an easy decision. It’s not like he’s going to cost a Lester or Heyward type of contract. He’ll get paid well, but he’s worth it.

    Keep the contract no more than 4 years, and I’m thrilled to bring him back. Cubs should ignore the idea of a “grace period,” and keep this group intact as much as possible, which to me means a willingness to go 4 on Fowler and break the bank on Chapman (or Jansen). Gordo and the rest of the press seem to think Cubs won’t do it because “historically they’ve balked at paying relievers big money.” Maybe they’re right, but I don’t think the Cubs have much choice if they’re serious about winning more than one of these things.

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  39. Mucker

    I fell asleep during the rain delay. Can’t believe they won. I’m happy they won but man they didn’t make it easy did they? Still scratching my head at some of Maddon’s decisions but now is the time for celebration. The Cubs just won the World Series……HOLY FUCK!!

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  40. Myles

    The Cubs have Schwarber, Zobrist, Almora, Soler, and Heyward in the outfield right now. Zobrist can be a 2B/LF, but Baez probably needs to play every day next year, so not sure how that works. Heyward probably needs another long run at RF just to see if there’s anything there. What I’m trying to say is, I think the Cubs might not have room for Fowler, who would definitely need to play nearly every day.

    The Cubs should pay whatever it takes to sign Jansen or Melancon. I don’t want Chapman (and consider it fate that he wasn’t on the mound for the last out). Cubs should probably also get a starter. After that, perhaps another reliever and you’re pretty much set.

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  41. Myles

    OF
    Schwarber
    Zobrist

    Almora
    Soler
    Heyward

    IF
    Rizzo
    Baez
    Russell
    Bryant

    (vacant)
    (vacant)

    C
    Contreras
    Montero (release candidate)

    SP
    Lester
    Arrieta
    Hendricks
    Lackey
    Montgomery

    RP
    Rondon
    Strop
    Smith
    Edwards Jr.
    Grimm
    Hammel
    (vacant)

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  42. Smokestack Lightning

    Myles: The Cubs have Schwarber, Zobrist, Almora, Soler, and Heyward in the outfield right now.

    I don’t think you send Fowler off because of Almora, who has earned exactly zero in my mind. And I’d be surprised if Soler is considered a big part of this team for 2017 too.

    Agree to disagree on Chapman. I’m just as fine with Jansen, but want no part of Melancon and would rather at that point save the cash and turn the keys back over to Rondon or give Strop a try.

    I’m also fine with the rotation as-is for 2017, tho at some point Theo will need to find a replacement for Arrieta.

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  43. Myles

    Smokestack Lightning: I don’t think you send Fowler off because of Almora, who has earned exactly zero in my mind. And I’d be surprised if Soler is considered a big part of this team for 2017 too.

    Agree to disagree on Chapman. I’m just as fine with Jansen, but want no part of Melancon and would rather at that point save the cash and turn the keys back over to Rondon or give Strop a try.

    I’m also fine with the rotation as-is for 2017, tho at some point Theo will need to find a replacement for Arrieta.

    Almora is a fine defensive 4th OF in my mind. I’d be surprised if Soler is on the team to break spring training. Signing Fowler means essentially that the Heyward experiment is over, or that there is some configuration with timeshares that I can’t see happening (but isn’t impossible).

    It’s sort of telling to me that when Chapman blew the save in the 8th that a non-trivial part of me thought “at least it couldn’t have happened to a better guy.” I don’t like anyone who throws at people’s heads. That shit will kill someone some day. The DV stuff is just as bad if not moreso. Pass, please.

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  44. Pinch-Running Tom Goodwin

    I can’t believe this happened. Immediately as that final out happened my phone was blowing up with friends, some I hadn’t talked to in 5 years, saying that they were thinking of me and congratulating me. I personally thought of my grandpa who just turned 91 years old. It was great redemption for him after he saw the Cubs lose a game in the 1945 World Series.

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  45. Rice Cube

    I’ve also shown the condensed game of Game Seven highlights to all my classes today. Never gets old. Except for that part that pissed all of us off, but I got over it every time.

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  46. cerulean

    Who else here couldn’t sleep and missed responsibilities in the morning and didn’t care?

    I feel like I have been beaten up.

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