Chicago Cubs 2016 NL Central Championship Gear

jeimer candelario smokiesI’ve got my NLCS tickets in-hand (Game 5), thanks to unbelievably awesome BN’er Keith. I still can’t believe it when I look at them. I am so freaking excited.

  • It seems my check-in on the Arizona Fall League yesterday was a day early. Had I waited, I could have told you about the incredible combined day Jeimer Candelario and Willson Contreras had: 7 for 9 with a walk, just one strikeout, three doubles and three homers! Contreras accounted for a “good day” portion of that (two hits, one of the homers, and the walk), but Candelario had the kind of day you remember forever: 5 for 5 with three doubles and two homers. Seriously. He did that yesterday in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League. Recall, Candelario has been an emerging top prospect in the Cubs’ system for a number of years, and he finally really exploded this year in the second half when he reached AA. As you can see in that post, the Cubs will have a tricky 40-man decision on Candelario, who is just 21, has played only a bit above A-ball, and is Rule 5-eligible this year. If he keeps playing like this, though, it’ll be a no-brainer to add him to the 40-man and ensure no team plucks him away.
  • (Undoubtedly, some of Candelario’s success yesterday was due to the opposing pitching/conditions/umpires – check out the box score. His Mesa Solar Sox put up a 20-spot. (EDIT: Hey, way to read, Brett. It was the other team that scored 20, though Mesa did have 14 hits.))

  • Sahadev Sharma with a great read on “That’s Cub” and the behind-the-scenes work that helps put the Cubs where they are.
  • Theo Epstein’s way is brutal honesty (Tribune). And more on how he convinced Jon Lester to sign on with the team (
  • Patrick Mooney with a profile on Jorge Soler.
  • Humorously serious Sports Science breakdown of Jose Bautista’s bat flip.

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