With the streets of Chicago still in a state of ruin after the Cubs broke a century-long World Series drought, it's time to do it all over again.
The Cubs will host their first-ever World Series celebration Friday, mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement released less than 24 hours after the team's thrilling Game 7 win over the Cleveland Indians.
“The city of Chicago could not be more proud of the Cubs, and we are going to throw them—and their fans— a celebration worthy of the history the team made last night,” Emanuel said in a statement. “Twenty-sixteen is the year for the Cubs and the generations of fans who have been waiting to the fly the World Series W. Go Cubs go!”
Michael Arndt of Crain's Chicago Business provided a look at the parade route:
The parade begins at 12 p.m. ET, but coverage will be ongoing throughout the day. CSN Chicago will begin coverage at 10 a.m. ET, and the website will also be live streaming it. MLB Network will also be providing coverage.
|Parade Start Time|
|12 p.m.||CSN Chicago / MLB Network||CSNChicago.com|
The Cubs finished the job in an all-time classic Game 7, which nearly saw them add another soul-crushing heartbreak to the ever-growing list. Ahead 5-1 going into the bottom of the fifth and 6-3 in the eighth, a pair of manager Joe Maddon pitching changes nearly altered history forever.
First, Maddon removed starter Kyle Hendricks after 4.2 innings despite stellar work in favor of Jon Lester. Hendricks had given up a weak single with two outs, but Maddon decided it was a better idea to pitch Lester—a bonafide ace who just so happens to have a major case of the yips with runners on base.
The Indians would score two runs in the inning to make it 5-3, thanks to a pair of ugly plays by the Chicago battery. First, catcher David Ross flung a ball into the stands on a Jason Kipnis infield single. Lester followed that by bouncing a pitch off Ross' helmet, scoring two runs on the wild throw.
Lester settled down afterward, making Maddon's decision to pull him with two outs in the eighth inning in favor of Aroldis Chapman all the more unsettling. Chapman, who rarely threw more than one inning during the regular season, had just thrown 20 pitches a night before in what many thought was an unnecessary situation.
It was obvious from the outset Chapman did not have his best stuff. He gave up an RBI double to Brandon Guyer and then a two-run home run to Rajai Davis to tie things up at 6-6.
But this Cubs team did not collapse. World Series MVP Ben Zobrist clinched those honors with an RBI double in the top of the 10th inning and Miguel Montero followed him with a single, pushing the Cubs to an 8-7 victory.
“I mean, Chappy, he’s our guy in that moment," Maddon told reporters. “We narrowed it down to four outs. The Cubs beat up on [Indians relief specialist Andrew] Miller tonight and got to their other guys because the Cubs are good. The Indians beat up on Chapman because the Indians are good. So that’s part of the game."
Of course, that's easy to say now after hours of guzzling champagne and preparing for a parade. Had things gone a little differently, Maddon's decisions would have gone down as perhaps the worst managerial stretch in MLB history. He would have joined the billy goat, Steve Bartman and the black cat.
Instead, come noon this Friday, it'll be time for him to celebrate in front of a city that has waited generations for this to happen.