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Boot 'n Scoot

I said last week that the next couple of weeks were going to be the most fun of the season. But I really thought it would be a bit longer than it looks like it'll be. With the magic number already down to 10 and the Cubs showing no stopping in sight, this sucker should be wrapped up before we get to another Cub Factor next week.

OK, well, not by next week, but it should be the week after. But then, when it does happen, what do you do? Is this really worth celebrating now? Or are we too cool to celebrate quite yet? My guess is that we are somewhere in the middle.

So yeah, those who are just looking for really any reason to celebrate should do so, and probably will, and those on the other end who think this was inevitable from a couple months ago will not celebrate at all. I'd say most thinking Cub fans are somewhere in between; happy to get into the playoffs again and eager for October to get here without anyone getting beaned in the face before then in close to meaningless games.

My suggestion is to take a few moments after it happens and soak it in. This team isn't a dynasty in the making, it is a dynasty right now. And not in, like, a Yankees winning titles dynasty, obviously, but in Cub history, making the playoffs two years in a row doesn't happen much.

OK, 2007 and 2008 when the Cubs made the playoffs two years in a row isn't that long ago - for some of us - but even then they were on borrowed time and leaning on older guys.

Well, in retrospect we can say they were on borrowed time. But anyway, I would suggest taking a moment to understand that even though we all kinda thought the Cubs would be back after 2015, we also knew that it wasn't a gimme and crazy junk happens all the time. So this is really pretty cool.

And just think that our big free agent signing in Jason Heyward hasn't really panned out, Kyle Schwarber almost immediately was lost for the year, and as good as Big Jake has been, he's still taken a step back from last season.

So, it's not like the Cubs even had everything go right this season, although Kyle Hendricks coming close to out of nowhere to probably win the Cy Young award is kind of an insane thing to go right.

I sort of wish for this column's sake that a few other things went wrong - talking about bad moves and horrendous luck is more fun to make fun of - but I'll take a historical winning season over a hysterical one.


Week in Review: The Cubs went 7-1 for the week, sweeping three from the Pirates, taking three of four from the Giants, and beating the Brewers on Monday. A lot of close games and a lot of unlikely heroes. Um, I mean, formerly unlikely heroes, because at this point, everyone is likely to come through. It's that kind of year.

Week in Preview: The boys in blue have two more at home with the Brewers, in Milwaukee, until they head out to Houston for three. I'm kinda feeling a bit bad for the real Brewers fans out there. It actually kind of annoys me to hear the yells of overzealous Cub fans at Miller Park. But hey, they buy a lot of beer too, eh. And the Brewers have the top ranked farm system right now. So maybe they'll be back soon enough.

Musical Outfielders: And no, we aren't talking about Matt Szczur playing the French horn. But Matt Szczur did get a start in left field this week. Jorge Soler got four Chris Coghlan got three. No Willson Contreras or Kris Bryant in left this week. But they should be out there this week, or not. I just don't know. I just know whatever happens, it should be fine, or better than fine, it'll look like it makes no sense but the Cubs will win anyway.

Former Annoying Cub of the Week: Tommy La Stella is back, and is no longer a former annoying Cub. But, he certainly is still a weird Cub. I don't exactly know what to make of La Stella. I guess it's pretty cool for a guy to want to just be a part of a team, and nothing else. Yet, this is a business, so you don't get to just show up and be on the team, there are other factors. So, I think it'd be super cool for Tommy La Stella to be on my beer league hockey team, as he is in it for the guys, and for the team, and for everyone's success, and fun. But as cool as that is, you kinda seem pretty odd when you try to be that same guy on a major league roster in the big leagues. But I think I like it.

Current Annoying Cub of the Week: None. You show me any Cub who could possibly annoy you right now - or annoy even me right now. They don't exist. Coghlan does nothing and then single-handedly wins a game, Miggy Montero looks like garbage but then comes through this week, Jason Heyward still is really barely hitting the ball but two bloopers and a seeing-eye grounder has him winning games too. It was a trifecta of former current annoying Cubs this week. And really, at this point let's just accentuate the positive, can't we? Well, until next week at the very least.

Mad(don) Scientist Even guys in the big city are raving at what Big Poppa Joe is doing. But could this be more of a real thing in baseball? All the flip flopping of players and positions? Could Joe and the Cubs be the leaders that make other teams start doing this as well? Kinda interesting. But it's always good to be the one getting copied off of.

Kubs Kalender: On Saturday, when the Cubs play the Astros in Houston, it's Boot Scoot 'n BBQ day. And it's sponsored by Nolan Ryan Beef. I wonder if Ryan rustles up the cows himself?

Beachwood Sabermetrics: A complex algorithm performed by The Cub Factor staff using all historical data made available by Major League Baseball has determined that sometimes you just have a magic season.


Marty Gangler is The Cub Factor. He welcomes your comments.

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