The 2016 MLB regular season officially ended today as there won’t be any tiebreaker situations (unfortunately), and with that, we said goodbye to the regular season exploits of some legends and fan favorites. There was, of course, one of the greatest, if not THE greatest, broadcasters of all time in Vin Scully doing his farewell broadcast as the San Francisco Giants sealed their postseason ticket to the Wild Card game…
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 2, 2016
There was the final regular season game for Red Sox slugger David Ortiz, who is also going to the postseason…
— MLB (@MLB) October 2, 2016
And there was our own would-be All-Star and clubhouse legend, David Ross…
#reds pay tribute retiring David Ross by showing one of his great moments for them on the video board. Gets standing O, does curtain call
— Mark Sheldon (@m_sheldon) October 2, 2016
Now that we got that out of the way, we also said goodbye to the first, marathon phase of the Cubs regular season, and look to October. The Cubs won’t know who their opponent will be until after the National League Wild Card game on Wednesday, but will host the victor on Friday at Wrigley Field. They will also do some tuning up on Tuesday…
Jake Arrieta will pitch in Tuesday's simulated game
— Mark Gonzales (@MDGonzales) October 2, 2016
No matter what happened in Sunday’s season finale, the Cubs had clinched everything tangible weeks ago, including the division, home field advantage for the NL playoffs, and the privilege of resting starters, experimenting with matchups, and keeping everyone healthy while most every other team had to battle to the final day. Why not love on the Cubs’ statistics, too?
- Only MLB club with 100+ victories (103-58-1)
- Outscored opponents by 252 runs
- 3,232,420 very happy Cubs fans at Wrigley Field
- A winning record against every team played except the White Sox & Braves (tied season series), Rockies & Mets
- A winning record at home and on the road
- At least two legitimate Cy Young and MVP candidates
- A legitimate manager of the year candidate
Do I care who the Cubs play in the postseason? Not really. The Cubs don’t seem to care, either…
#Cubs Maddon on NLDS opponent: "That has to be organic. The moment you start wishing for something, be careful what you wish for."
— Carrie Muskat (@CarrieMuskat) October 2, 2016
They’ve shown that they can win more games than they lose, and despite the inherent chaos of baseball that could snuff out any team’s flame in a few short days, this does not diminish the incredible accomplishments from this club. The team under Joe Maddon is just trying to keep the same approach, knowing that what they have done has worked more often than not. These are the players and coaches we will have to trust to give Cubs fans the glory we have longed for and deserve. Even in the games where the Cubs lost, and even in the “fall training” contests, they always had a chance to win it all at the end (like Sunday, bookending the season with Ws). It’s going to be a long few days to get to the NLDS, but I feel pretty good about this team, and you should too.
As for who gets to battle through October? Let’s check it out:
Wild Card – Baltimore Orioles at Toronto Blue Jays
ALDS – Boston Red Sox at Cleveland Indians
ALDS – Wild Card winner at Texas Rangers (Rangers have home field through World Series)
Wild Card – San Francisco Giants at New York Mets
NLDS – Los Angeles Dodgers at Washington Nationals
NLDS – Wild Card winner at Chicago Cubs (Cubs have home field through NLCS)
There will always be another day, even though we had to say goodbye to some legends.
Vin Scully's final message as he signs off on his final broadcast. pic.twitter.com/N2dTeWdQmJ
— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) October 2, 2016
Always forward. Let’s go.