Mike North: It's only going to get better for Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs won the World Series in dramatic fashion by winning Game 7 (8-7) in extra innings at Cleveland.
Joe "the plan worked 'til it didn't" Maddon changed his managerial style to the very end.
Maddon pulled two starting pitchers -- Jake Arrieta in Game 6 in the sixth inning and Kyle Hendricks in Game 7 in the fifth -- too early. He almost created championship doom by his overmanaging, but his players rallied to bail him out.
While Maddon couldn't handle the pitching staff, he made an impactful move by inserting Kyle Schwarber (DH) in the No. 2 slot in the batting order when they returned to Cleveland for the final two games of the series.
Schwarber delivered big time with 7 hits and 3 walks in his 20 plate appearances.
The three-days'-rest thing for Cleveland's starting pitching came back to bite them because it made them hittable, and the Cubs took advantage.
Remember, it's only going to get better for the Cubs because Maddon and the whole team won't have to put up with stories of curses, goats and 108 years of losing. All the negative energy is gone, including the million pounds of pressure that continued to mount as the season progressed.
I made a statement on Twitter @North2North that the Cubs were the second-greatest team ever in the city behind the 1985 Bears.
I know most Cubs fans won't agree, but 90 million people watched the Bears in the Super Bowl, while Game 6 of the World Series had an audience of 27 million, and for Game 7 it's being reported that there were about 40 million.
The '85 Bears still own this town and will continue to own it, but the Cubs will share some of the glory.
Chicago has two baseball teams, and I have to admit I know many White Sox fans were rooting for Cleveland to win the World Series and would consider it close to treason to root for the Cubs.
I also have to include a couple of my family members who weren't here to see history in the making.
First my dad, Don North, and second my Uncle Joey, both lifelong Cubs fans. My uncle just passed away in August and at least enjoyed the earlier part of the season. He wanted them to win so much.
Plus, I have never seen my wife, Be-Be, so intense as she was for Game 7.
As I look at this team I believe we are looking at more of the same for the next few years. That division is theirs for the taking.
Aaron Boone, ESPN baseball analyst, said it's the best team he is seen in a long time.
A tip of the cap to the whole team, especially to World Series MVP, Ben Zobrist.
Congrats also to the Cleveland Indians; they were great opponents.
But Theo Epstein, Cubs president of baseball operations, actually got it done, giving me the chance for the first time ever to write: The Chicago Cubs are world champions!
• Follow Mike North on Twitter @north2north. His column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.