North: Chemistry, Maddon a winning Cubs combo
Wow! Dare I say it doesn't look like the Cubs are a year away after all?
More like the time is now, and with their present record (65-48) and in a close race with the Pittsburgh Pirates for second place in the NL Central standings, I'd say it's a surprise to many people.
Be careful of any Cubs fans who are saying they knew this run was going to happen. They probably pick the team every year to contend, but this year they will be right. It's definitely a team with talent, but more important a team with chemistry.
They are playing loose and if there is a word that hasn't been used over the last few decades about the Cubs it's that one -- loose.
Of course, things can change -- just look at the New York Yankees. They were leading the American League East by 7 games on July 27, but now the Toronto Blue Jays have caught up and have edged them out of first place in the American League East.
At this point anything can happen, especially with a young club like the Cubs, but this team seems to revel in the spotlight.
Manager Joe Maddon has never panicked, and the change of leagues didn't seem to faze him in the least. Now there's nothing to do but wait and enjoy the Cubs because they seem to be a good place.
Will there be baseball playoffs in Chicago come October? I sure hope so.
The winner of the PGA is …
As I am writing this column, play has started for the PGA championship at Whistling Straights.
I like Jordan Spieth. He's the overall favorite and will use his performance at The Open, where he missed by one shot to make the playoffs, to fuel the fire to win his third major this year. I feel he could challenge Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus for majors, or he could just win occasionally.
Remember Irish golfer Padraig Harrington? He won one major in 2007 and two in 2008 and since then has virtually disappeared.
You don't win majors just by showing up. Golf is a game in which you can have it one day and lose it the next. The level of concentration needed to consistently play well is so high, it's difficult to sustain.
Just ask pro golfers such as David Duval, John Daly or a host of others.
Expectations are high for golfers such as Jason Day and Bubba Watson to win the PGA, but I don't see it. I like Rickie Fowler or maybe an unknown to make some noise, but at the end I still like Jordan Spieth, with his top 10 finishes in his last five tournaments.
And for all those Tiger Woods fans, I just hope he makes the cut and can put together four decent days of golf, but that seems like a very remote possibility.
Enjoy the last major of the year.
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