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cubs win it allYou know why you should “like” BN on Facebook? Because you can wake up to pictures like this one.

  • There was a discussion that floated around Twitter yesterday about bandwagon fans, The Plan, and who can say what now that things are starting to turn. Here’s the totally cynical, but also totally true, reality about bandwagon fans: the Cubs need ‘em. Whatever you hardcore-iest of the hardcore might think, and whatever personal offense you might take to their inclusion, “bandwagon” fans make up a lot of the incremental difference between good attendance and great attendance. And, as we’ve seen, the Cubs’ revenue picture right now is far more sensitive to attendance than most teams (plus, there’s the 2019 TV deal to consider). So, even if you feel some animus toward your buddy who couldn’t tell you who Addison Russell is (“Isn’t that where the Cubs’ ball stadium is?”), there’s a reason he exists. And his dollar is as green as yours.
  • (The other thing: how many of us started out as bandwagon fans? I have only a vague memory of it, but I’m pretty sure the 1989 Cubs were a big part of why I started really liking the team in the first place. You settle onto the bandwagon long enough, and eventually, you’re just a fan like the rest of us.)
  • In case you missed it, I tweeted some thoughts on a related, but separate layer of the subject:

  • For whatever reason, there’s something inside humans that makes them want to be first, exclusive, and right. In a situation where, for years now, many have chastised folks for seeing where things were headed with the Cubs, the urge to now push back on that and say, “SEE! I was right! You suck, and you can’t come along for the ride!” is pretty strong. I get that. I probably feel a little bit of that, too. But I resist it as best I can, because, in the end, we’re all Cubs fans. We all want to see the same thing, and soon, there will be plenty of fun to go around. As my daughter sings it: “The more we work together, the happier we’ll be.”
  • Justin Ruggiano is on the DL with a left foot/ankle issue, and he has headed to Dallas to see a specialist (Cubs.com). Hopefully it’s not serious. Even if the Cubs wind up having to shut him down for the rest of the year, he’s looked like a guy they might want to strongly consider bringing back next year, and you’d like to not have any doubts about his long-term health when making the tender decision.
  • I have always appreciated Anthony Rizzo’s frank discussions of the prospects, and how that has been the story for so long. He tells Cubs.com he’s glad they’re finally emerging, and the future is exciting for Cubs fans, because he found the incessant discussion tiring. We talk about you incessantly, too, Anthony!
  • Speaking of which, Rizzo missed his second straight game yesterday with back tightness, and he’s hoping to play tonight in St. Louis. It doesn’t sound serious (Cubs.com), but it’s gotta loosen up completely before he can rightly be expected to play through it – I suppose that’s partly just my opinion, but there’s risk of lingering with back injuries. Then again, I guess there’s risk of lingering with most injuries. So, I don’t really know what I’m saying here. Get better, I guess, is the primary message.
  • I took a look at the Javier Baez and Aroldis Chapman matchup earlier this week from a fun perspective, but Jeff Sullivan one-upped me at FanGraphs, taking a more analytical look at the at bat. It’s a good read, and the upshot is that what Baez did was pretty impressive.
  • Tom Ricketts spoke at an entrepreneurial conference, noting that doing things right takes time and patience. (Tribune)
  • The NFL is beefing up its response to domestic violence incidents with a six-game suspension for first offenses, and a lifetime ban for second (Forbes). Good on them for stepping up on something that had been an embarrassment for the league, and I wonder whether MLB will feel a little push on the issue. And, although it’s not the same thing, I do think there should be a more robust discussion on league penalties for drunk driving offenses.
  • An awesome profile on Cubs Pro Scouting Director Joe Bohringer, and the process of getting into, and growing up in, the business of baseball.
  • An hilarious sendoff at BP for their former writer, and now current Cubs employee, Jason Parks. Read it, and absorb the fact that this guy is now an important cog in the Cubs’ organization. I love it.
  • This is why the Internet exists:

  • That’s recent Cubs draftee and positional prospect Kevonte Mitchell jumping, dancing, and presumably orchestrating a bit of fun with his teammates down in Arizona. It warms my heart and gives me the lulz. Well done, gents.
  • There was always talk that Ryne Sandberg had a certain style as manager that might not translate well to the bigs, but I certainly didn’t expect things to play out as they have in Philadelphia, with player after player developing a beef with a guy who was generally beloved as a manager in the Cubs’ minor league system. The latest is Cole Hamels (CSN), who was peeved about being pulled early from a game, and didn’t hide his managerial frustration very well after the game. To be sure, these things happen, and guys usually get over it. But this keeps happening with Phillies players.
  • Co-credit to @ivychat for thinking of the puffer fish picture to go with the idea of chest-puffing Cubs fans.

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