The thrill isn’t gone for Cub Country, yet

Wrigley FieldDexter Fowler, who hit Game Seven’s fourth pitch over the center field fence? He’s a Cardinal now, having signed with the rivals during the offseason. Aroldis Chapman, gassed at last and serving Rajai Davis a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth? Back to the Yankees from whence he came.

David Ross, who atoned post haste for a wild throw and a run-scoring bounce off his catcher’s mask by hitting one out on Andrew Miller’s dime? Retired. Jason Hammell, the missing man of the rotation with an elbow issue? Free agent, not likely to return, joining a small pack of marksmen who think Joe Maddon doesn’t really know as much about handling pitchers as he thinks.

Montero’s complaint, timed terribly

Why would a guy who came up big twice with the bases loaded this postseason complain?

Why would a guy who came up big twice with the bases loaded this postseason complain?

Somewhere up from the depth of Chicago’s loud, raucous, bigger-than-Woodstock celebration of the Cubs’ transcendental triumph there came a small voice of dissent. Miguel Montero, the no-questions asked hero of National League Championship Series Game One and the man who drove home the eighth and final Cub run of World Series game seven, was not amused by his usage during the Cubs’ postseason run.

Beneath the big smile he flashed during the Cubs’ celebrations Friday beat the heart of a man who believes he could have and should have been allowed more chances to contribute more.

Journeyman Ross came and went with very different bangs

Game Seven: David Ross, about to meet Andrew Miller's ball for a date over the center field fence . . .

Game Seven: David Ross, about to meet Andrew Miller’s ball for a date over the center field fence . . .

Willie Mays didn’t get to retire like a champion, and neither did Mickey Mantle. Nor did Henry Aaron, Ernie Banks, Yogi Berra, George Brett, Lou Brock, Harmon Killebrew, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Ryne Sandberg, Ron Santo, Mike Schmidt, Ozzie Smith, Billy Williams, and a small passel of Hall of Famers.

How many major league baseball players get to retire as well as David Ross?

The Cubs. World champions. Signed, Epstein’s mother.

The party's on . . .

The party’s on . . .

Jolly Cholly Grimm started Hy Vandenburg instead of Hank Borowy. The College of Coaches was decertified in its crib. Leo Durocher didn’t burn out his regulars and make nervous wrecks out of his subs and rookies. Leon Durham fielded the grounder. Steve Garvey made a long out. Dusty Baker lifted Mark Prior to start the eighth. Alex Gonzalez fielded the hopper cleanly and turned the double play.

The Cubs, not Naquin, forced Game Seven

Naquin, after stranding ducks on the pond with a fourth inning-ending strikeout, wasn't the main reason there'll be a Game Seven.

Naquin, after stranding ducks on the pond with a fourth inning-ending strikeout, wasn’t the main reason there’ll be a Game Seven.

Heaven help Tyler Naquin and Lonnie Chisenhall if the Indians go forth and fall in Game Seven. Try as you might, the sports goat business never falls onto hard times. And it’s a lot easier to seek, find, and put in the stockade a single culprit than to look beyond his moment of infamy.

To Game Seven, via the ICU

Chapman in the eighth . . .

Chapman in the eighth . . .

Forget about making things a little more exciting even when they leave themselves room enough to make things simple. These Cubs are just hell bent on keeping Cub Country not on edge, but within easy reach of the intensive care unit.

These Indians seem hell bent likewise regarding the Indian Isles, who must have thought—after the Cubs forced a seventh World Series game—that simplicity is simply not an option anymore.

With Game Six, you get . . .

Freese rounding the bases after sending the 2011 World Series to Game Seven---after the Cardinals refused to bow twice before their final strikes . . .

Freese rounding the bases after sending the 2011 World Series to Game Seven—after the Cardinals refused to bow twice before their final strikes . . .

Six can be an historic baseball number. On uniforms, number 6 has been retired for five players and two managers: Johnny Pesky (Red Sox), Steve Garvey (Padres), Stan Musial (Cardinals), Al Kaline (Tigers), and Tony Oliva (Twins) are the players; Bobby Cox (Braves) and Joe Torre (Yankees) are the managers. In postseason competition, Game Six can be historic heaven or heartbreak, depending on whose side you’re on.

For these Indians, the Cubs are hosts too gracious

IT'S NOT LIKE HE DIDN'T TRY TO WARN YOU---Kipnis (right, with Crisp) said he wanted to bust every heart in Chicago, and his three-run homer in Game Four went a long way to proving it Saturday night . . .

IT’S NOT LIKE HE DIDN’T TRY TO WARN YOU—Kipnis (right, with Crisp) said he wanted to bust every heart in Chicago, and his three-run homer in Game Four went a long way to proving it Saturday night . . .

Apparently, nobody showed the Cubs Jason Kipnis’s Game Three postgame remarks. Just as apparent in Game Four, it almost wouldn’t have mattered if someone had.

The Indians spent the fourth game of this World Series earning the respect they think, not unreasonably, they’ve been denied. A 7-2 win which felt like they were never behind despite an embryonic 1-0 Cub lead does that for you.

How the world turned since their last Series triumphs

In 1954, Edward R. Murrow forced a fabled television showdown with Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy on Murrow’s groundbreaking news program, See It Now. The two men had more in common than just their middle initial. They were both born the same year in which the Cubs last won the World Series—Murrow in Guilford County, North Carolina; McCarthy in Grand Chute, Wisconsin.

And, no, their coincidental same year birth has nothing to do with the Cubs winning their last World Series championship to date, pending the outcome of the proceedings due to begin Tuesday night. Your chronicler was born four years to the day after See It Now‘s 1951 premiere, and even they won’t hold it against him.

There’s only one real reason for the Cubs to lose

Kershaw v. Hendricks---a Game Six epic looms but there's only one real reason for the Cubs to lose . . .

Kershaw v. Hendricks—a Game Six epic looms but there’s only one real reason for the Cubs to lose, and it isn’t wearing a Dodger uniform . . .

My friend and Internet Baseball Writers Association of America patron Howard Cole, writing for Forbeshas forged a splendid argument as to how and why the Dodgers are going to sweep National League Championship Series Games Six and Seven in Wrigley Field this weekend. As is his custom, Mr. Cole deploys faultless logic and analyses from intellectual strength.