wrigley party balloons celebrationMet a BN’er at a game this weekend who was wearing these awesome shoes (at least I’m pretty sure I found the right pair, since there are literally thousands out there). I’m gonna pull the trigger on getting them, but I always wonder about sizing variations. Do they run a little big? A little small? I love the convenience of shopping online (especially at Amazon, nudge nudge, support BN by shopping at Amazon), but I look forward to the days of some kind of virtual reality try-it-on app. I guess that’s just called “going to the store.”

  • It would be so very nice if the Giants lost tonight (as they did last night), ensuring that the Cubs would have the opportunity to clinch their playoff spot on their own terms Friday or Saturday, without having to simultaneously root for another team’s loss. The Cubs will clinch eventually, obviously, but a Friday or Saturday clinch just sounds like a lot of fun for the fans.
  • And, of course, for the players and coaches. On the subject of clinching, Joe Maddon says he wants his guys to have a really nice party when it happens (ESPN): “Listen, the word party has taken a negative connotation in our country these days and it’s really bumming me out. There is nothing wrong with having a good party. There is not a thing wrong with it. So if you have an opportunity to have a good party, go out and have one … and it’s OK to have a good time.” Not that you’d expect anything different from Joe, but that’s awesome. Life tosses you only so many big moments to really enjoy – so enjoy them!
  • Kyle Hendricks was very solid overall last night, and was particularly fantastic the first two times through the Brewers’ order. He said he felt good, and he received praise after the game (Cubs.com). We’ll see what happens with the rotation in the postseason if the Cubs move past the Wild Card Game, but, either way, it seems likely that the leash on Hendricks would be incredibly short, as it was early in the season. You’d like to not have to lean on the bullpen too much, but if guys like Jake Arrieta and Jon Lester can go at least seven, then, when considering off-days, the Cubs should have plenty of fresh arms in the pen throughout the playoffs.
  • Patrick Mooney on the increasingly impressive awesomeness of Kris Bryant.
  • It sounds like MLBAM may once again be cracking down on GIF/Vines on Twitter shared by fans, which is simultaneously entirely within their rights, and entirely losing the forest for the trees. When MLB makes available official videos/GIFs/Vines of plays, those are the ones I choose to share, because I think that’s the right thing to do. But when they don’t? The choice they’re offering fans is to share clips and risk retribution, or share nothing at all. Think long-term in the increasingly mobile age, and think about the advancing age of baseball’s fan base. Is this seriously the approach they want to take? It seems like there’s got to be an explanation I’m missing, or MLBAM needs to get some folks involved who have a little better understanding of the online sports clips ecosystem. I know it’s all a fine line, but it seems like they’re shooting themselves in the long-term foot for a short-term penny.
  • Tom Tango is doing his annual fan defensive scouting project, and it really does help and mean a lot for as many Cubs fans to participate as possible: