Today is the last day of the Cubs' regular season, and what a season it's been. Regardless of the outcome of today's game the Cubs will have lost fewer than 60 games for the first time since 1945—the last time the Cubs went to the World Series.
They've also won over 100 games, and will finish with either 102 or 103 wins, the most since 1910. (The last time they won 100 games was in 1935.) Keep in mind, just four years ago they lost 101 games.
And then on Thursday, this happened:
As the Pirates and Cubs discovered Thursday night, there is tying in baseball. Their series finale at PNC Park was suspended and declared a 1-1 tie after being delayed by rain in the top of the sixth inning.
The tie game, the Majors' first since 2005, will not be reflected in either club's record. Major League Baseball deemed the suspended game to be a tie because it won't be completed before the end of the regular season on Sunday and won't affect either team in the standings.
he Pirates' last tie was Aug. 24, 1998, a 5-5 game against the Cardinals at Three Rivers Stadium.
The Cubs last played a tie game on May 28, 1993, a 2-2 decision against the Expos at Wrigley Field. They will finish their season with three games against the Reds in Cincinnati before opening the NLDS at Wrigley Field on Oct. 7.
What a weird season. And the Cubs' playoff run starts next Friday, against whoever wins the Wild Card tie-breaker on October 5th (San Francisco, St. Louis, or the Mets).
I took a personal day yesterday to get my teeth cleaned (still no cavities, ever!) and to fork over a ton of cash to Parker's vet (five shots, three routine tests, heartworm pills, one biopsy, $843.49). That and other distractions made it a full personal day.
So as I start another work day with the half-day of stuff I planned to do yesterday right in front of me, I'm queuing up some articles again:
OK, my day is officially begun. To the mines!
A 12-2 win over the Pirates got the Cubs to their 100th win of the season. This is the first season they've hit 100 since 1935. Even in their pennant-winning 1945 season they only won 98. Could they make history this year? I'm starting to feel more hopeful.
Four days after clinching the National League Central, the Cubs are still the only team in baseball to have gotten to the division championship, and the only team to have won 90+ games, and the only team to have lost fewer than 60. Hey, it could happen this year.
Of course, the sign on Sheffield still says AC0071108, meaning it's been 108 years since they last won the World Series and 71 since they last won a pennant.
I'm going to my last Cubs game of the season tonight, and it could be historic. If the Cubs win against the Brewers, or if St. Louis loses their game, then the Cubs will be going to the post-season.
Even without clinching the division tonight, they're still the top team in baseball right now with 93 wins and 52 losses.
Last night's Sox game was more fun than I think I could have there. First, the Sox got 7 runs in the 6th, which kept me in my seat until the game anded. Second, the Sox set the Guinness World Record for most dogs at a sporting event, with 1,122 in attendance:
The Sox needed a minimum of 1,000 dogs in attendance for the record, and the dogs had to remain in their outfield seats for a period of 10 minutes, starting at the top of the third inning, in order for the record to count.
A clock in the outfield counted down the 10 minutes during the third inning, and the Sox announced the record was achieved in the middle of the sixth inning.
“They were a little noisy but it’s kind of fun,” Sox outfielder Adam Eaton said. “It brings a different atmosphere to the ballpark. I think that’s one of the beauties of The Cell, really nothing is off limits.”
Third, the weather was pretty good:
The Cubs, meanwhile, lost to St. Louis last night, keeping their Magic Number at 3 and bringing the Cardinals to half a game behind the Giants for the NL Wild Card. The Cubs play the Cardinals again this afternoon, and I'll be at Wrigley tomorrow night when they beat the Brewers to clinch the division title. I hope.
So...I hate to admit this, but I'm going to US Cellular Field tonight, because my trivia team won a bunch of Sox tickets. This will make me 0-for-3 on paying to get into the place, which I like. And tonight, in a very literal way, the park will go to the dogs:
The White Sox will receive an attendance boost from some canine fans Tuesday when the team hosts its annual “Bark at the Park” event, and they hope it’s enough to set a new Guinness World Record.
The Sox are attempting to set a record for the most dogs at a sporting event when the Sox host the Indians in the second game of a four-game series. They need a minimum of 1,000 dogs in attendance for the record, and the dogs must remain in their outfield seats for a period of 10 minutes, starting at the top of the third inning, in order for the record to count.
A Guinness World Record adjudicator will be on hand to verify the record.
The event is sold out. The event, not the game, mind you; as the Tribune points out, "The Sox announced an attendance of just 12,588 fans for Monday’s 11-4 victory over the Indians, so 1,000 dogs could make up a sizable chunk of the crowd Tuesday."
Oh, and it's supposed to rain.
The Cubs actually won, and it was a great night for a ballgame:
Also, I'm digging my new LG G5. That kind of photo is not what I'd expect from a mobile phone.
Two years after U.S. Cellular got absorbed by Sprint-NexTel, the Chicago White Sox have finally gotten around to renaming their ballpark. The winner? Guaranteed Rate, a low-cost mortgage lender. The change is effective November 1st.
I wonder what people will call it. "The Cell" is no more, "Comiskey" is long dead, and "Sox Park" isn't really the official name. Maybe people will call it "The G'Rate?" Nah.
The Tribune has some Twitter reactions up. My favorite: "Guaranteed Seats Park."
And hey, the Sox aren't the worst team in baseball right now (Atlanta Braves), nor are they the worst in the league (Minnesota Twins). But they're 60-65 and 12 games out of contention with only a couple dozen left to play, so the team will have plenty of time to change the marquee after the season ends October 1st.
Last week I posted a quick snap of Target Field from my mobile phone. I've finally had time to go through photos I took with my real camera; here are two. First, the park itself:
And I caught this shot of center field when the sun was setting: