Imrem: Get used to seeing Cubs, Dodgers in playoffs
Get used to the Cubs and Dodgers competing for the right to represent the National League in the World Series.
This is the second-straight season they have met in the NLCS. The Cubs prevailed in six games last year and the Dodgers are in front 3-0 this year after Tuesday night's 6-1 victory in Wrigley Field.
As well as the Cubs played in the 2016 series, that's how badly they're playing in this 2017 series.
In Game 3, Kris Bryant flubbed a grounder at third base, Ian Happ dropped a flyball in center field, Carl Edwards walked the Dodgers' pitcher with the bases loaded. Another run scored on Willson Contreras' passed ball on a third strike …
If the Dodgers complete the sweep tonight, it'll be one series victory apiece with the tiebreaker perhaps as soon as next year.
The Dodgers and Cubs might be just beginning their heavyweight showdowns.
These are two of the major brands in baseball, the Dodgers and Cubs are: The former in Los Angeles, the country's second-biggest market; the latter in Chicago, the country's third-biggest market.
Major League Baseball feared for a long time that the Dodgers would disrupt the balance of power by becoming all that they should be.
If anyone competent ever took over that franchise and wanted to impose his or her will and fortune on the rest of the West … look out!
Well, that time came in 2012 when billionaire Mark Walter became the Dodgers' controlling partner. All L.A. has done since is win five straight division titles.
Baseball's owners should have had the same fears about the Cubs.
If the Tribune Company ever sold the Cubs and a competent group with a lot of cash took over … look out!
That group turned out to be the billionaire Ricketts family, led by Tom Ricketts as club chairman.
The Rickettses rebuilt the Cubs on and off the field and now have been to the NLCS three straight years and won last season's World Series.
As long as the Cubs utilize all their resources, the Cardinals, Brewers, Reds and Pirates will have a hard time competing with them in the Central.
As long as the Dodgers utilize all their resources, the Giants, Diamondbacks, Rockies and Padres will have a hard time competing with them in the West.
The Dodgers' player payroll leads baseball at $265 million. Next in the division are the Giants, sixth in baseball but about $75 million behind L.A.
The Cubs' player payroll is No. 10 at a modest $182 million thanks to a lower-paid young core, but that's still $33 million ahead of No. 16 St. Louis.
The big markets can spend more because of larger fan bases, lucrative radio/TV contracts and corporate sponsorships.
Once the Cubs and Dodgers began taking advantage of that it was inevitable that they would begin dominating their divisions.
Combine smarts and dollars out on the West Coast and here on the North Side and you have two terrific baseball franchises that will be hard to beat for quite awhile.
Despite all the efforts to create parity in the major leagues, revenue overall remains hard to beat.
Of the current Final Four, only the Astros are out of the Top Ten in payroll.
Major brands in major markets like the Cubs and Dodgers have all the elements to dominate for a long time.