I didn’t make it to the Chicago Cubs fan convention this year. It was only the second Convention I have missed since 1990 (the other was 2005). We’re leaving on a trip tomorrow morning, and I couldn’t justify the scalper prices for a ticket for just a day. Plus, I needed to get ready. I have, however, been following things as closely as I can on Twitter and the Cubs website, etc. So are a few comments from afar:
Three of the better tweets I saw were these:
Carrie Muskat: Fan asked #Cubs Ricketts about getting a job in baseball. Tom: "Are you left handed?"
Jesse Rogers: Then Hendricks:"I'm w Carl. The food." RT @ESPNChiCubs: What's the best thing about being a major leaguer? Carl Edwards: "Free food.
Carrie Muskat: Fan says wife was mad when he said winning World Series was best day of his life. Theo said next time, he should renew his vows same time.
Obviously, there were lots of questions about Joe Maddon’s pitching choices in games 6 and 7 of the World Series. Theo Epstein probably had the best answer: "I don't always agree with him but he always has a reason." And it worked out, so what the heck.
Also, it has been noted that, if Javier Baez had not made that error in the third inning of game 7, Jon Lester might not have started warming up so early. And once Jon Lester was warming up, he had to come in.
Another question was about trading Gleybar Torres, plus more, for what became a three-month rental of Aroldis Chapman. That one is easy, especially when the last month of those three months was October. Obviously, Chapman didn’t get the job done the way he would have liked in the eighth inning of game 7, but that wasn’t his fault. The thing to remember is that, with the injuries to Pedro Strop and Hector Rondon in August/September, without Chappie we don’t get to game 7. We might not have even gotten out of the NLDS. (If you have any question about the importance of relief pitching in the postseason, ask Bruce Bochy.) We traded for, or rented, Aroldis Chapman for three months to win the World Series. And we did.
I missed seeing the Cubs alumni. That is always one of my favorite parts of the Convention. They had some good ones this year, too. Jim Bullinger, the only Cub (besides Willson Contreras) to hit a home run on his first pitch in the majors. Billy, Fergie, and Randy (“Rebel” - back when flying the Confederate flag in the bleachers was okay). Sean Marshall. Bill Madlock (two batting titles in three years; he could swing a baseball bat in the phone booth). Dwight Smith. Pete LaCock (father: Peter Marshall – “you know who changed their name”). And so many more.
Well, I'll just have to wait until next year!