But there's still baseball.
Two leagues, six divisions and as of this morning, only one team has clinched the playoffs -- the NL Central leading St. Louis Cardinals. Ah, too bad. The Chicago Cubs are also NL Central, so no Division championship for them this year. Worse, they're in third place, behind the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The numbers are much more interesting than that.
z-St. Louis -- Pittsburgh 4½ Chicago Cubs 5
So, there's only a half game behind the Pirates. And not all that far from first place -- they didn't put the key in the paper, but I think z = clinched at least a Wild Card (x = won, y = Wild Card). But even better, is the Cubs' record as of this morning:
Chicago Cubs 87-61 (.588) 5
That's better than the leader of the AL East:
Toronto 85-62 (.574)
And better than the AL Central:
Kansas City 86-61 (.585)
And better than the AL West:
Texas Rangers 79-68 (.537)
And better than the NL East:
New York Mets 84-64 (.568)
And better than the NL West:
Los Angeles D 85-61 (.582)
In other words, if the Cubs played in any other division in either league, then their record would put them in first place.
Now, of course this is a nonsense argument of statistics. But if the season ended this morning, the Cubs would be in the playoffs through the NL Wild Card:
Pittsburgh +½ Chicago Cubs -- Giants 10 Nationals 10
I haven't had much to say about the Cubs this year, because ever since they got sold, WGN just doesn't carry the games anymore. And Fox Sports Detroit is naturally showing the Detroit Tigers. And other TV games usually feature the usual suspects -- St. Louis, NYM/NYY, Dodgers/Giants... The hapless Cubs just don't get much coverage.
It's been a strange season. Poor Detroit is now in the basement of the AL Central, 69-78 (.469) 16½ back, where once they were leading it. The Tigers are long out of the playoffs, and today's non-page 1 headline asked the dreaded question: Can the Tigers serve as spoilers? It also looked like it would be the Washington National's year, as they led the NL East for a long time. Now they've folded, 7 games behind the Mets. And the Boston Red Sox? At the bottom of the AL East along with Tampa Bay? The Yankees are only three back, but the current Wild Card race is all the leaders -- Blue Jays, Royals, Rangers.
The word "hapless"? Well in late September 2015, it doesn't deserve to go to the Cubbies, but rather the poor All of Major League Baseball trailing Phillies:
Philadelphia 56-94 (.373) 29
But they aren't the farthest behind team, either. The Brewers are 30 games back.
One thing for certain, while there will be plenty of the usual suspects in the playoffs, there will also be some surprises. And at least the playoff games get shown on TV.
Shall the Cubbies battle cry be, not "Wait Til Next Year", but "Wait Til Next Month"?
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