The Last Out.

It's the bottom of the 10th.
The Cubs are up by a run on the Indians in the last seconds of the 2016 World Series.
Joe Maddon has gone through every weird ass pitching change in the world, and after using up every last drop of every last pitcher he trusts, he puts in Mike Montgomery to get that last out.
Everybody in the country is bleary-eyed and staring with open mouths at this moment.
Michael Martinez, who was put out in right an inning before as a glove, is at the plate.
Montgomery throws a hook for a strike.
Martinez doesn't look like he should be the last gasp for a really good Cleveland team.
He just looks like somebody in a... baseball outfit (I didn't say "uniform" on purpose).
Montgomery throws another hook, and Martinez hits a dribbler towards Kris Bryant that's so badly struck it's just.. that side of a bunt.
It's moving so slowly that Joe Buck actually thinks Martinez might make it to first and says something like, "That's going to be a tough play".

You know how when you look at the sun and close your eyes, the image sticks behind your eyelids?
That happened next, only instead of the sun it was Kris Bryant.
He's smiling - goofily - ear to ear.
He scoops up the ball and throws.
Martinez is out and the Cubs win the World Series.
My head pops like a bubble, but I can't get Bryant's smile off my retinas.
He had such confidence in his baseball ability that he started smiling before he made the play.
By a couple seconds, he cheated the thing that has ruined our lives for all our lives.
I swear all the Cub things, the bad things, flashed in front of my eyes while the ball was taking it's time getting to Bryant's glove.
THERE'S A BLACK CAT ON THE PLAYING FIELD said somebody in the stands in '69.
But then I see Bryant's smile, and I think this is where it all changed.
The Cubs really aren't that team any more, and they knew it way before me.
They're the World Series Champion Chicago Cubs.

And we are finally free.


This Cubs team makes me want to make art, too. I'm glad you're around to supply some artifacts of the event, Tim! But I'm even gladder you have the energy and sight to illustrate all the other moments.

Hah, could someone inform Anthony Rizzo that Billy Williams is still alive?

I had a vision of a bad throw followed by more bad things. I was absolutely stunned when Rizzo caught the throw.

CSN Chicago ‏@CSNChicago WATCH: The best sights and sounds from the #Cubs' championship parade  ---- They're also rebroadcasting the game starting at 6 for anyone local on CSN.

This is beautiful. A perfect capper to the season. Thank you for doing these.

Thank you for that transcript of the Brant Brown drop. Oh, how I miss that guy (Ron Santo)!

some of the team is going to be on SNL tomorrow. neat.

Hope they don't give them too many lines -- not much time to rehearse!

David Ross officially retired prior to 9 AM (Eastern) on Thursday (before he would have been automatically declared an Article XX-B free-agent) so that he could retire as a Cub, FWIW.

Sideswipe a bit, but you'll know the answer. Can the Cardinals DFA Zach Duke, who presumably wants to rehab his TJS? Having a bit of a discussion elsewhere. I doubt they can pay him to go away, and free up a roster spot. Unless he agrees to a buyout. If he stays on rehab and the 40, it probably improves his pension status. TIA.

TIM: The Cardinals can release Zach Duke at any time, but then they're still on the hook for his 2017 salary ($5.5M). There would be no reason for him to agree to a buy-out, and he has too much service time to get outrighted (he would have to consent to an outright assignment in advance, and he won't). 

What will probably happen is that the Cards will place Duke on their 60-day DL as soon as his 40-man roster slot is needed (a club can place a player on the 60-day DL beginning on the first day of Spring Training, but only if the club's roster is full), and then maybe he can return in September or in the post-season (if the Cardinals get there).  

Or he could be traded to offset the cost of acquiring another player with a substantial salary (as happened with Bronson Arroyo a couple of years ago), and then the club that acquires him would place him on their 60-day DL sometime during Spring Training and nurse him through TJS rehab and hope that he can maybe contribute in September or in the post-season.  

Thanks. I thought the MLBPA might object to him losing his service time if he was booted off the roster while rehabbing an injury. They might be staring at some 40 Man concerns, especially if they have some players needing to be Rule 5-protected. Thanks, as always.

Hitting a HR and being on the field for an extra innings Game Seven win to end a 108-year drought. Not a bad way to end a career. Well played, sir.

Montero sounds like a guy about to be traded: Seriously, dude. Your team just won the World Series. Don't make it about you.

Ugh. Although, if this was done Friday afternoon, Miggy may have a had a few with his teammates earlier in the day. This seems inconsistent with what he has said his whole time here -- time for the younger busy to play, he wants to help them, etc. May have been the beer/champagne talking.

Eh. Nothing in the quotes seems all that bad to me. Mostly sounds like he's saying he was disappointed not to play more and that he's glad he got to play a big role in the final few innings, because otherwise he would've felt like he didn't really take part in the WS (which is kind of a more honest version of playing the humble type in an interview). The only part of it that seems like a baseball faux pas is when he talks about not getting the communication from management that he deserved--but if that's true, yeah, that sort of sucks. Not a trade-inducing offense, in my opinion.

he'll get traded because he barely plays passable defense anymore and can barely hit anymore

he'd get traded if the Cubs get a reasonable enough return. Same with anyone else.

montero/hammel/lastella for mike trout...there, we got that solved. #2017cubs #worldchamps #yolo #swag #kony2012

There should have been some communication with him, but he can't really complain, in my opinion. In fact, I wondered if something medically was wrong with him because he had trouble with some very routine things- catching pitches in the strike zone. He would regularly drop them.

after extending a QO to fowler, at least the draft should be interesting with a couple top-40 picks (pending losing one to an unlikely forfeit-signing), even if it's at the tail end of that 40. their 1st pick in 2016 was 104th overall in round 3 on the 2nd day of the draft. at least i imagine a QO for fowler will happen. hopefully there wasn't some under-the-table agreement to not offer him a was kinda weird how he ended up a cub out of the blue in the first place. as far as his value being 17m or not, i imagine there's a good amount of larger-market teams with a CF need that would bend over backwards to give him a 17m deal with only 1 year of commitment. i'm pretty much expecting a QO to happen and for it to be rejected by fowler. 2016 was the kind of bounce-back season he was gambling on. the bat improved and he went from "how long can he stick in CF" to "he can stick in CF for a while longer." he's in a much better position than last off-season with far less question marks about his ability. also, he doesn't turn 31 until the end of spring training 2017. it should be easy for any team with need to pony up loot on a 3-5 year deal for him without too much worry. as far as cubs upgrades this offseason, i can't imagine what's in store for the cubs as far as major moves that will impact the 2017 MLB roster. a high end reliever...the fifth starter situation...a possible CF/RF surprise...outside of that i have no idea how they'd make a splash on an outside signing that would be worthy of a headline. with a team like this that's not a bad thing. they're already good even if they don't do anything major.

A QO offer to Fowler is no-brainer unless there was some gentleman's agreement. He would easily be worth 17 mil to the Cubs on a one-year contract next year. If he'd be willing to take a 3-year deal, I'd be happy to see the Cubs work something like that out with him too. But this is a great opportunity for him to cash in.

There was a lot of buzz that there was an agreement -- that the QO hurt his chances of getting a contract last year. But, assuming Schwarber is healthy and the starting LF and Baez is at 2B puts Zobrist in RF and Heyward in CF. Plus, for now, there's Almora and Soler. Not sure there is a place for Dex, if everyone stays healthy (big assumption).

No place for Dex is pretty much how it looked in 2016 following the Heyward signing, too.

Yep. No doubt. But that with Zobrist as the everyday 2B. Now I assume that's Baez, which moves Zobrist to OF. But, as always, health is the risk.

Sorry -- double post. There was a lot of buzz that there was an agreement -- that the QO hurt his chances of getting a contract last year. But, assuming Schwarber is healthy and the starting LF and Baez is at 2B puts Zobrist in RF and Heyward in CF. Plus, for now, there's Almora and Soler. Not sure there is a place for Dex, if everyone stays healthy (big assumption).

rizzo, ross, fowler, and bill murray do SNL... as an goodman (who wrote/recorded "go cubs go") would be absolutely blown away by what his corny ass song has meant to this team's fan base in the past decade and very especially this year. he died way too early in 1984, just days before the cubs won the NL Eastern division earning their 1st post-season appearance since 1945. his legacy faded then emerged out of the ashes like blah blah let's make a phoenix reference. the guy won a grammy award for willie nelson's cover of one of his song "city of new orleans" in 1985, 6 months after his death. it's amazing how much he's missed out on. he would be 68 if was alive today.

Yeah, a folk singer from Chicago should write about trains ("City of New Orleans" was a train) and also about the Cubs, I guess. But I like that sweet, sad one that he sang (but didn't write) about the Dutchman.

Haven't seen this posted here yet. The NYT went as far as commissioning a piece of art for their so-clever-and-inevitable "Cubs lose" sports page. They were too proud of it NOT to run it. Trying to be objective: It's a cool idea, well executed. But man, I'm so glad we don't live in that universe. The cocktail of rage, shame, embarrassment, and resentment would have been crippling.

illuminati confirmed.

Thanks for finding this, Brick. Looks like it's going to run tomorrow (Monday), so I might be able to buy the paper and save the picture, and think about it every time we whip the Mets and the Yankees.

Cubs decline Hammel option. 

his elbow must be in worse shape than was let least i assume. 2m to cut him loose, 10m to keep him...basically 8m/yr for hammel after he put up 3.83era + 1.21whip if he's healthy he's one of the best FA pitchers in a historically poor FA pitching class. you got soon-to-be 37 year old rich hill and...umm...well, ivan nova is a is AARP member bartolo colon...and jeremy hellickson had a nice bounce-back 2016. there's risk gambles like doug fister and andrew cashner, too...

Cubs did put out a lengthy statement on not picking up Hammel's option which if you squint a little, pretty much reads that we could have picked up the option and traded him but wanted to give him a chance at the open market.

so either you hate the move for not being cuthroat enough or like them for looking out for a player that helped them win a championship. 

I'm guessing they read the market and decided the return was low enough to do the classy thing for Hammel. Good luck to him if he chooses the AL.

given the market i have no idea how the cubs don't keep/trade him if he's healthy even if it's a little brutal on the business side of things...bryant and lastella have put up with it recently. hammel's value in this market is high at his cost...if healthy. fwiw, the cubs even went out of their way to say he's healthy in the release and hinted they had some "gentleman's agreement" to not pick up his option if they don't want him around in the rotation for 2017. i guess that's what they're going with. it's a lost opportunity, but at least it's not a major blow to the team. there's serious talk that jeremy hellickson is going to get a $17m QO for what he did last year. the market weakness for SP is hardcore advantageous for anyone looking to shift a SP, too. *shrug*

Yeah, I hear that. Like maybe the Cubs could have said, "Give us a list of your top 5-7 choices, and we'll send you to one of those cities."

it's one of those things that technically doesn't harm the team, but given the dumpster fire the SP market is...damn, that's a hell of a lost opportunity.

"I'm guessing they read the market and decided the return was low enough to do the classy thing for Hammel."

That was my take. I think they like Montgomery and Zastryzny enough and believe in their ability to find some low-cost arms as they have done so well in past years.

We know they like guys who under-performed their FIP...a few names, many of which won't be available.

J. Gray, R. Ray, D. Price, M. Pineda, C. Archer, G. Gonzalez, J. Paxton, M. Andriese, M Wacha, J. Chacin

Archer would obviously be a helluva guy to nab to replace Arrieta.

Is Boras his agent? Looking for a little help getting some of these other guys extended? Okay, that's implausible.

Well, good luck to Jason. He seemed like a good dude. Given that Maddon kept saying that Monty could/would be an effective starter next year, and that he and Hammel didn't always seem to be on the same page, I wonder if this was more of a Maddon call than a Theo call.

CHARLIE: Jason Hammel is represented by Octagon.

FWIW, the other Cubs Octagon clients are players Ben Zobrist, Hector Rondon, and Willson Contreras, manager Joe Maddon, and coaches Dave Martinez and John Malle. 

rockies hire bud black to manage.

it is beautiful

Barring a trade, and assuming the carry 12 position players and 13 pitchers next year, the position players look pretty set (?) Contreras C Rizzo 1B Baez 2B Russell SS Bryant 3B Schwarber LF Heyward CF Zobrist RF Bench: Miggy, Almora, Soler, Szczur I assume they will deal one or more of the extra OFs -- they need some bullpen arms and could maybe use a backup IF.

I expect at least one trade before Christmas to involve people on that list.

Yep. I assume Soler has the most value. Just looking at that possible starting lineup vs. this year (assuming health): Schwarber replaces Fowler and more Contreras vs. less Miggy/Ross, plus hopefully more growth from Addy and Baez -- could be better than this year. Offensively, anyway.

Looks like Rosenbloom reads my posts:

My bold prediction for Addison is that he posts a .350-ish OBP in 2017, provided he doesn't run into some sort of terrible BABIP luck. I'm less optimistic about offensive development from Javy, though we might see a home-run jump with regular playing time--probably due primarily to a hot streak or two.

Well, I was on a business trip in Lexington, KY for game 7. Not exactly what I had in my dreams. Raced off the plan to go find a hotel bar, that was completely empty, to watch the first few innings. Watched the last 6 or so in my room. That game was simply something else. and I ended the night in tears, just stunned by what just happened and really not sure what to say or do aside from cry. Anyway...just got back into town and watched the parade on TV and the game again. The parade was incredible and seeing that sea of blue is a sight I'll never forget. (That was NOT 5 million people) As for the game, being able to watch it again without the nerves a few comments: 1. It is amazing how many moments went wrong, yet we still won. 6 runs scored against after 2 outs, all 3 on Chapman after 2 strikes, the errors by Baez, the Ross error, the Wild pitch. Unlike other failures, in 1 year we will never remember those moments. 2. There is simply no excuse for what Maddon did throughout that game. Why put pitchers in the position that is least comfortable for them. He really didn't trust a pitcher with a 2 ERA to get out of an inning after a walk instead of putting in a starter mid inning? He really went to a closer who has stated he hates coming in mid inning. If the game went the other way, could Maddon have recovered from that in Cubs fans minds?

.....not to mention the 3-2 squeeze bunt attempt from Baez. The Lester move was strange, but backfired due to bad luck -- the dreaded swinging bunt, which simply cannot be defended.

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  • crunch 3 hours 11 min ago (view)

    Chicago Cubs Thumbs Up GIF by NBC Sports Chicago


  • Alexander Dimm 3 hours 37 min ago (view)

    I'm in.  What more do we need, really.  A beer.  A game or two.  The 162 game season can wait until next year (I hope).  Have fun with a micro-mini season.  Let the powers fight over the labor agreements.  They can finish by next spring, right?


  • crunch 3 hours 48 min ago (view)

    2020 quickly shaping up to be the best season ever.


  • Cubster 5 hours 8 min ago (view)

    And a few kegs of beer. Hamberders too.


  • crunch 7 hours 21 min ago (view)

    they should just play a quick weekend tourney where no one actually wins and everyone gets a small participation trophy.

    declare the fans the MVPs and dedicate the series to everyone who has died in the history of humanity.

    ...then a free live-streamed Nickleback concert hosted by 2Pac's hologram


  • Charlie 1 day 12 hours ago (view)

    Lol at worrying about a second wave disrupting revenue.


  • Cubster 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    IN BRIEF (Tribune, from their mini-sports section):    In a letter, MLB rejects players’ plan for 114 gamesNews services Major League Baseball rejected the players’ proposal for a 114-game schedule in the pandemic-delayed season with no additional salary cuts, telling the union that teams have no reason to think 82 games is possible and now will discuss even fewer.Players made their proposal Sunday, five days after management’s initial economic plan.


  • Cubster 1 day 15 hours ago (view)

    Pete Ricketts causing some backspin on their serve...Chi Tribune, Thursday AM:


  • Arizona Phil 2 days 25 min ago (view)

    Here are the last two Cubs minor league releases from this week (for a final total of 30): 

    Conor Lillis-White, LHP (acquired frrom LAA for Tommy LaStella post-2018 - missed 2019 season with hip flexor injury)

    Alberto Mineo, C-1B (has been quarantined in Italy since he re-signed with Cubs in February) 

    Lillis-White was eligible for selection in the 2020 Rule 5 Draft, and Mineo was eligible to be a minor league 6YFA post-2020 


  • Charlie 2 days 1 hour ago (view)

    Great read from players I came of age watching. Really shows how badly MLB needs to empower their players to speak in real time and not just after retiring.


  • crunch 2 days 2 hours ago (view)

    "A conversation: Retired African American MLB players on race, baseball, America"

    d.glanville, j.rollins, r.howard, d.willis, t.hunter, l.hawkins

    unlocked/free article.


  • Jackstraw 2 days 4 hours ago (view)

    I'm trying to come up with scenarios where saying "The problem I have with you people....." really helps the conversation move forward constructively.  None really jump to mind.


  • crunch 2 days 5 hours ago (view)

    i still want proof that tom ricketts and ted cruz aren't the same person


  • Cubster 2 days 7 hours ago (view)

    Tom's older brother is an ass, even with an embarrassing apology.

    Here is the twitter video from Pastor Jarrod Parker:


  • Cubster 2 days 15 hours ago (view)

    I agree.  Laura is the real deal. I think she was the major influence that showed Tom R. and Crane Kenney how to show a "human side" and deal realistically and in a non-threatening way, with the local Chicago politicians. Kenney was clearly clueless in his initial attempts regarding the neighborhood, the Rooftop owners, and the Wrigley Field rebuild. 


  • Hagsag 2 days 16 hours ago (view)

    I am a Laura Ricketts fan. To hell with the rest of them.