Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

rocky victoryI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a shame that The Blogathon saps me of maximum eloquence at the time I need it most. After 38 hours, I owe you so many thanks, and I know I won’t quite have the capacity to express them.

For donating so generously to a worthy cause like Make-A-Wish: THANK YOU!

Your efforts put us over $26,000 (there’s a pending $5,000 donation), and sponsored four wishes for children and their families who deserve and need an incredible experience.

For participating so joyfully throughout the 38 hours of the Blogathon: THANK YOU!

It’s possible that I could survive this stunt without having a community of folks surrounding me at every turn, but, even if I did, it would be miserable. This was not miserable. It was hard, but it was absolutely a blast. Your comments, your tweets, your messages, your pictures. It was all a huge part of the experience for me.

As for the baseball action, the Padres’ apparent decision not to sell anything – including free agents to be like Ian Kennedy and Will Venable – has me feeling even better about the Cubs’ move to acquire Dan Haren (for almost nothing), and to pick up Tommy Hunter for Junior Lake. For weeks, I labored under the mistaken assumption that, even if the Padres didn’t sell off in grand fashion, of course they were going to at least move Kennedy and Venable. Now that I know that wasn’t going to happen, and I saw how much Mike Leake cost the Giants (and toss in the fact that guys like Jeff Samardzija and Hisashi Iwakuma wound up not being available), I think the Cubs did just about as well as they could have here. Getting a top-of-the-market rental never made sense for a team gunning for the Wild Card, and the only longer term guys who got moved were Cole Hamels (Rangers were simply a better fit) and Alex Wood (that Dodgers/Braves/Marlins deal is so complex I can’t even unpack it).

The Cubs didn’t miss the luxury boat. They found a reasonable row boat to suit their circumstances, and they got it on the cheap. (And a nice reliever, too.)

Haren and Hunter probably aren’t huge difference-makers, but they absolutely upgrade the Cubs’ back of the rotation and the bullpen. That’s really all I’d hope for at this deadline, plus a bench bat (without giving up any key pieces, unless it was for a longer term guy, which wasn’t really my preference). The Cubs might wind up getting that bench bat eventually in the form of Chase Utley via a waiver deal, or simply in the returns of guys like Javy Baez, Tommy La Stella, and Miguel Montero.

Oh, boy. I’m fading. I should wrap up.

What all of this was really about, though, once again …

MAWF  Primary Logo PMS293

I want to thank you all so very much for your part in this Blogathon. From the moment I announced the fundraiser benefiting Make-A-Wish, you overwhelmed me with support. Together, we raised over $26,000 this month (including an impending $5,000 donation) to make wishes come true – to give a special experience to children who really need something to enjoy. Hopefully we’ll have reached a young Cubs fan or two along the way. That’s up $10,000 from last year, by the way. Good on you.

You also donated enough to force me to wear a Rally Bucket – which wound up coming directly from the Cubs’ dugout thanks to a kind member of the organization – for the entire stretch. As near as I can remember, it came off just four times: once for a shower, once when it fell off while I gesticulated too wildly during a Live Stream, once so I could put my headphones underneath it, and once so I could put last year’s Blogathon hat underneath it. My head is a gross, sweaty mess, and I have weird bumps lining my forehead where the bucket has been resting for two days. Worth it.

Let’s do it again!

… in 364 days.

Now for the final tallies.

Total Posts During the Blogathon: 

50. In case you missed any of those 50 posts, you can stroll on over to the home page, and flip backwards through them all.

Total Minutes of Live Video Streams During the Blogathon:

About 123, spread over three streams (plus a bunch of Periscopes, too). If you missed any of the Live Streams, you can see them here, here, and here. I want to thank you all for making those a lot of fun, especially the middle one with Luke and Michael (a big thanks to them, as well!).

A Final Handful of #BNBlogathon Tweets:

Total Comments During the Blogathon:

Well over 10,000 (and counting).

Total Page Views During the Blogathon:

500,000+ (and counting).

Total Cubs Transactions at the Deadline:

Two: the Haren deal and the Hunter deal.

Total Caffeinated Beverages Imbibed:

Four Coke Zeroes.

One Dr. Pepper 10

Two iced coffees

One Red Bull grapefruit-ish energy drink (partial)

One Kickstart energy drink (partial)

That’s actually it. A little less than last year, if you can believe it.

Hours I Plan on Sleeping Now:

Less than I’d like. I have to be up early to get in a car to drive down to North Carolina for a wedding tomorrow evening. Yikes.

Total Times I Bought a Cake for The Wife Like a Boss:


A Final Visual Representation of My Feelings:

Thank you all again, and it’s time for me to hit the sack after I get tonight’s Pre-Gamin’ up. As a reminder, you will not see normal posting after the game or tomorrow. Luis will be handling a non-EBS game recap for tonight’s game, and there will not be usual Bullets and multiple posts in the morning (again, I’m going straight from my bed to a car to a wedding in North Carolina). There should still be some posts here tomorrow, though.

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